President Donald Trump said Friday he was putting a decision to reverse a ban on importing elephant trophies from two African countries on hold, saying he needed to review "all conservation facts."
Trump added he would soon provide an update with Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke.
"Put big game trophy decision on hold until such time as I review all conservation facts. Under study for years. Will update soon with Secretary Zinke. Thank you!" Trump tweeted.
News had broke this week that the Trump administration was reversing the 2014 ban put in by the Obama administration on hunters importing trophies from elephants killed in Zambia and Zimbabwe during government-approved big game expeditions, according to USA Today:
The move was confirmed to ABC News by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Wednesday following a recent announcement at a wildlife forum in South Africa, according to Safari Club International, a hunters’ group that filed a lawsuit to block a 2014 ban imposed by the Obama administration. A notice regarding this change will be posted in the Federal Register on Friday with more specifics on what new information justifies the changes, ABC reported.
Though elephants are listed as endangered, a provision of the Endangered Species Act allows the government to give permits to import such trophies if there is evidence that the hunting benefits conservation for that species. Hunters typically pay hefty fees to local government agencies for permission to pursue the animals. The official told ABC that they have new information from Zimbabwe and Zambia to support reversing the ban to allow trophy hunting permits.