SCI President Clarifies Position On Elephant Import Issue

The Press has been full of conjecture about SCI’s reaction to President Trump’s request that Secretary Ryan Zinke place a hold on the issuance of import permits for elephants from Zimbabwe and Zambia.  SCI President Paul Babaz put an end to that conjecture with the following statement:

“SCI was very pleased when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service made findings that the importation of legally-hunted elephants enhances the survival of the species.  While SCI was disappointed to learn that the President requested a hold on importation permits issued under authority of the two enhancement findings, we understand that the President and Secretary Zinke wish to make certain that the facts and law support the positive enhancement findings.  We respect the President for taking the initiative to delve into the science behind those findings.  SCI remains confident that, given the opportunity, we can help the President reach the same conclusions that the Department of the Interior and, in particular, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, have reached – that hunting and importation of elephants from Zimbabwe and Zambia not only cause no harm to the species, but that these activities enhance species survival.  SCI will continue to work with the President, the Secretary, the FWS and the entire Administration to find ways to acknowledge and facilitate the beneficial role that hunting plays for wildlife, including, and especially, species like the African elephant.  SCI stands ready to respond to the President’s questions and concerns.  We will continue to work with this Administration and to help it to support, protect and defend hunting and sustainable use conservation.”

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