Trump Administration Supports Killing Big Game
This isn’t politics; it’s ethics. A new U.S. advisory board created to help rewrite federal rules for importing the heads and hides of big game, like African elephants, lions, and various rhino species, is stacked with trophy hunters, including some members with direct ties to President Donald Trump and his family (which is supposed to be illegal).
A review by the Associated Press of the backgrounds and social media posts of the 16 board members appointed by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke indicates they will agree with his position that the best way to protect critically threatened or endangered species is by encouraging wealthy Americans to shoot them.
This is supposed to be a committee on conservation, but not one member is a scientist. None have distinguished advanced education in conservation, zoology, or animal welfare. Science is clearly not a consideration. There’s no single expert on protecting wildlife, which is supposed to be their mission. And, all are avid hunters.
Appointees include celebrity hunting guides, representatives from rifle and bow manufacturers, and wealthy sportspeople. Most are high-profile members of Safari Club International and the National Rifle Association (NRA), groups that have sued the Fish and Wildlife Service to expand the list of countries from which trophy kills can be legally imported.
They include the Safari Club’s president, Paul Babaz, a Morgan Stanley investment adviser from Atlanta, and Erica Rhoad, a lobbyist and former GOP congressional staffer who is the NRA’s director of hunting policy. Bill Brewster is a retired Oklahoma congressman and lobbyist who served on the boards of the Safari Club and the NRA.
Both Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. have ties to several members of the group, and President Trump reportedly does as well.
In a letter this week, a coalition of more than 20 environmental and animal welfare groups objected that the one-sided makeup of the council could violate the Federal Advisory Committee Act, which requires government boards to be balanced in terms of points of view and not improperly influenced by special interests.
Both Eric and Donald Jr. have been on the record in their enthusiastic support of big game hunting and have been pictured standing proudly next to their own kills in Africa.
The Trump sons’ counterparts in the U.K., Prince Harry and Prince William, and their dad Prince Charles, are all working hard to support protection of endangered species and to fight against big game hunting.
All this has occurred during the same week that the last male northern white rhinoceros has passed away.
If humans as a species are so advanced, why is there the need to kill other animals? Our own relatives, the great apes, are quickly disappearing from the planet and so are a myriad of other species. People who don’t believe this will impact our own population are either ignorant or naïve. Scientists of various disciplines unanimously agree that when enough species begin to dwindle, humans across the globe will be impacted, and that has already begun.
I don’t have all the solutions, but ecotourism appears to work. How about supporting that notion instead of killing?
Oh, I forgot… This advisory board doesn’t believe in science.