Expected Announcement From U.S. FWS Will Close Elephant Imports From Zimbabwe, Tanzania

Discussion in 'News & Announcements' started by AfricaHunting.com, Apr 4, 2014.

  1. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I just read the Lacey act, 11 pages in all. I don't trust the US justice system. But you are right if there is a legal permit in another country, you technically are taking the animal legally, so you are not breaking the law but the USA doesn't have to allow importation.

    So the USFWS is taking the USA out of ivory trade? Really, were we the ones causing all the problems, that lead to all the recent elephant and rhino poaching?

    We might have a drug importation dilemma :), but I doubt we have a rhino horn or ivory trade on a large scale.

    I remember how we were only suppose to get 300 wolves in Wisconsin but ended up with 3000+ thanks to interpretation of the endangered species act. Trust....I have very little.
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  2. Buff-Buster

    Buff-Buster GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Agree with you 110% Eric. Does bring up an important point. If you do go ahead and book a elephant hunt in Zim or Tanzania, make sure and ask for a copy of the permit issued. I doubt that happens very often.
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  3. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    That is the nature of a public relations guy vs a lawyer.

    If I were going I would want to be very clear before I pulled the trigger to.
  4. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    It reminds me of the guys taking some of our Wolves off our hands and intending that the Wolves would eat the Bison in Yellowstone and environs.

    Of course this was a group of Wolves that had been eating Elk their entire lives. Wonder why the Elk populations went down and the Bison number stayed up.

    Intentions......paved the road to...?
  5. Wheels

    Wheels GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Today is the last day of a successful elephant hunt for me in Zim with Wayne van den Burg. We found out about the announcement while in camp.

    We took my trophies to the taxidermist in Bulawayo. They are still somewhat in the dark as well.

    As I read the USFW statement I'm really hacked off at my government. I shot the bull before the announcement was made, but that doesn't matter. They retroactively set a date and I can't bring back the trophy parts of the elephant or products made from it. If my government had given adequate notice I could have done a PAC hunt instead and saved a significant amount of money.

    By giving no notice, USFW is cutting off the front line of defense for the elephants....the PH's and their employees. If hunts are stopped they can't afford to stay in the field.

    The outfitters are potentially in a world of hurt. Wayne has spent time and money on camps, boreholes, vehicles, relationships with RDC's etc. etc.

    In 14 days I saw elephants in the maze/mellon fields alot. The damage to some fields is extensive. If the farmers and the RDCs can't generate income from hunting are the farmers going to let their farm be destroyed? It doesn't take much to lace some melons with poison and leave them on an elephant trail.

    I haven't had a chance to read this entire thread and won't for over a week since I'm starting another hunt tomorrow. Hopefully SCI, DSC. Etc are working hard on this.

    Frustrating end to a good hunt due to incompetent beaurocrats. The joke around here is that the Zim government is better than the US government. I can't argue at this point. I feel my government pulled the joke on me.

    At least I get to hunt some more tomorrow....wonder if I shoot an impala if it will be importable?

    All the best
  6. Conservation Force

    Conservation Force CONTRIBUTOR AH Member

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    Questions & Answers

    Suspension of Import of Elephant Hunting Trophies Taken in Tanzania and Zimbabwe in 2014 Questions & Answers

    See attached pdf file.

    Attached Files:

  7. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    The casualty list starts to rise.

    Sorry man. Try and have a good hunt.
  8. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    The Issue, That I could see taking place under our current administration is one were a hunter would be targeted with a Lacey act violation by our Justice Department. The hunter targeted, would just be made an example of in the court system.

    Lets just say you are Mr. Lucky and are able to hunt, track and shoot a nice elephant. What will you do with the tusks, Skin and meat. Dig a hole and bury it? Giving the meat to villagers could potentially be a Lacey Act violation. What happens to the Tusks and Skin, again this could lead to a Lacey Act Violation for the hunter.

    On a Trophy Elephant hunt, I do think that the Skull - Tusks and hide belong to the hunter. Now what are you going to do with them.

    This is no different than a Elephant Hunt in Mozambique. A hunt I looked at had Lacey Act issues all over it, The price was a reasonable hunt, so I checked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service. You could not give or sell the tusk or hide after you shot an Elephant. So after checking it came down to 2 choices, and that was to burry or burn them to be compliant with the Lacey Act and keep you self out of court and or jail.

    All some one has to do is notify the Game and Fish that a person (you) killed a elephant and either gave or sold body parts (tusks - hide) and the show begins. I hope you have the money to pay for the show (attorney fees).

  9. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I did send an email to FWS and got the link to the Q&A as noted above. Said basically, go ahead, go huntinglegally but cant bring back ele parts from Zim and TZ and encouraged us to hunt in other countries. Also said that ele taken before 2014 can be imported to the US legally. So that is a plus. Its only for 2014 with a review for the future.

    I dont think James is being paranoid about this either. I would want further clarification if I was planning an ele hunt.
  10. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Hunting is one question, However, What are you going to do with your hide and tusks? They belong to you. Hummm

    It takes time (sometimes days) to talk to someone at the Fish and Wildlife service to get an answer.
  11. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Well the guy above from USFW says they will allow importation of two elephants per person a year from Zim and Tanzania with a license or permit from that country just not the importation of bought ivory. The US is not going to allow ivory buying and selling.

    This still sounds goofy?
  12. Code4

    Code4 AH Enthusiast

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    The hunting won't stop, but as was stated on another forum, you just can't bring the trophies home.

    For hunters it doesn't present a problem, it's just a little sad that the industry is so reliant on trophy collectors who are predominantly from the USA and cashed up.

    Prices may fall or new markets open up or Elephant may become like SA lion (and Rhino everywhere), expensive, privately bred, released, shot and displayed.
  13. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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  14. Royal27

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  15. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    SCI President's Response to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Ban on Elephant Imports from Zimbabwe and Tanzania

    SCI President's Response to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Ban on Elephant Imports from Zimbabwe and Tanzania

    In response to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service's decision on Friday, April 4, 2014 to unilaterally ban the importation of sport-hunted elephants from Zimbabwe and Tanzania, SCI President Craig Kauffman has sent a letter to Director Dan Ashe requesting that they immediately rescind the decision or risk losing elephants forever. The text of the letter is below and a copy of the letter can be viewed here: SCI President Craig Kauffman's Response to USFWS Ban on Elephant Imports from Zimbabwe and Tanzania

    SCI has received an outpouring of support in the past 3 days from the sportsmen's community. Many have asked "What can I do to help?" There are two things hunters can do today to help us fight this decision.

    1. Immediately contact your Congressman to oppose the ban!

    2. Please consider coming to Washington, DC on Thursday, May 8, 2014 for SCI's Congressional Lobby Day on Capitol Hill. Hundreds of hunters will descend on the Capitol to make our voices heard. This issue will be at the forefront, and by the end of the day, Members of Congress will KNOW that FWS is making the wrong decision. Register HERE FOR LOBBY DAY

    SCI is also looking at every legal and legislative venue to force the service to rescind its decision to ban sport- hunted elephant imports from Zimbabwe and Tanzania.


    [HR][/HR]
    April 7, 2014

    The Honorable Daniel Ashe
    Director, United States Fish and Wildlife Service
    Department of the Interior
    1849 C Street, NW
    Washington, DC 20240


    RE: Suspension of Import of Elephant Trophies from Tanzania and Zimbabwe

    Dear Director Ashe:

    On behalf of Safari Club International and millions of conservationists worldwide, we were shocked at your decision on Friday, April 4, 2014 to unilaterally ban the importation of sport-hunted elephants from Zimbabwe and Tanzania. This decision in and of itself shows a fundamental abandonment of the stated goal of "scientific excellence" for the United States Fish and Wildlife Service's (FWS) because this announcement relied solely on anecdotal evidence to make a rash decision with no basis in law, science, or conservation policy. We respectfully request that the FWS rescind its decision banning 2014 sport-hunted elephant trophy imports from Zimbabwe and Tanzania. In order to increase the quality of the information that FWS is relying upon, we also request your personal attendance at the 2014 African Wildlife Consultative Forum which will be held outside Addis Ababa, Ethiopia November 3-7.

    The FWS's decision appears to have been made without any consultation of the affected African nations. The FWS decision will do nothing to prevent poaching in Africa. If anything, removing the U.S. hunter from the landscape of Africa's great outdoors will permanently handicap government bodies and communal wildlife administrators in their fight against poachers. Problems with poaching in either Zimbabwe or Tanzania will be exacerbated by this ill-advised ban by the FWS.

    International hunters are the first line of defense for conservation, management, and anti-poaching throughout Africa. When wildlife has no value, hundreds of years of history prove that it will most certainly be slaughtered indiscriminately. In 2003, sport hunting accounted for approximately 60-90% of all revenues for Zimbabwe's Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management. SCI's members have purchased bull elephant tags to benefit the CAMPFIRE Foundation in Zimbabwe who conduct anti-poaching work throughout the communal lands of their country. SCI's members have paid more than $100,000 to support elephant conservation through these tags from 2012-2014, whereas the FWS has spent only $56,000 to protect Zimbabwe's elephants from 2011-2013 through the Multinational Species Conservation Grants.

    The role of international hunters has an incredible impact on the ability of Tanzania to manage its wildlife and conduct anti-poaching activities. For example, Tanzania has 157 hunting blocks that cover 30% of Tanzania's total land area representing 70 million acres that are managed by private hunting operations. Furthermore, sport hunting employs approximately 3,700 people and supports over 88,000 families in Tanzania. A U.S. policy decision that disproportionally impacts Tanzania's population and its rural economies should not be taken without consultation with the affected government.

    The unilateral decision by FWS on Friday, April 4, 2014 will effectively defund conservation efforts across thousands of communities in Zimbabwe and Tanzania. Again, we respectfully request that the FWS rescind its decision banning 2014 sport-hunted elephant trophy imports from Zimbabwe and Tanzania. We respectfully suggest that FWS also undertake measures to improve the quality of data upon which it relies, and toward that goal we also request your personal attendance at the 2014 African Wildlife Consultative Forum which will be held outside Addis Ababa, Ethiopia November 3-7.

    Sincerely,
    Craig Kauffman
    President, Safari Club International




    Source: Safari Club International (SCI)
  16. Shakey

    Shakey GOLD SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    Has anyone seen any action or announcements from the Dallas Safari Club (aside from some Facebook post that just repeated the USFWS announcement)?
  17. Ole Bally

    Ole Bally AH Enthusiast

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    Even Forest Gump's mom knows 'Stupid is as stupid does' !
    Does outlawing legal practices not encourage the illegal ones? Can they seriously be so narrow minded as to not see the consequences?
    Our pastor always says ; You are free to make your choices, but you are not free of the consequences of those choices!!
  18. Ron Thomson

    Ron Thomson CONTRIBUTOR AH Member

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    Re: African Elephant trophies banned from importation to the United States
    A very personal report from Ron Thomson (This is a round robin letter)



    Dear friends and colleagues,

    America's recent decision to ban elephant trophies from Tanzania and Zimbabwe is just one of a whole host of irrational and illogical decisions that the U.S. has made about African wildlife in recent decades. It just gets worse and worse.

    This recent debacle, I am sure, stems from the so-called "International Conservation Community's" recent discussions with Hilary Clinton in New York. The so-terribly-mis-named 'International 'conservation' community' is, in fact, the collective title that the world's leading animal rights organisations now use to describe themselves - no doubt, for the purpose of misleading the ignorant people of the world into believing that THEY are the leading 'wildlife management experts'. Nevertheless, whatever the wrongs of the matter, they are succeeding. They certainly succeeded in getting Hilary Clinton to pledge the support of the Clinton Foundation towards "saving Africa's wildlife" in the manner that the so-called "conservation community" advocates.

    Yet, THE ELEPHANT IS IN ABSOLUTELY NO DANGER (AS A SPECIES)....... except from its own over-population pressure on its own habitat.

    In Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park (alone) there are (arguably) 50 000 elephants (when the sustainable habitat carrying capacity {determined in 1960} is just 2500); I was 'there' (in Zimbabwe's National Park employment) when that decision was made; and I saw and understood the reasons WHY (habitat damage) that decision was made. Furthermore, I served for 24 years in Zimbabwe's National Parks (1959 - 1983) - and I eventually achieved the post of Provincial Game Warden-in-charge of Hwange National Park. So I am talking from very personal experience.

    In Botswana today, there are 207 000 elephants (counted in 2013) - and this huge number is wiping out all the other wildlife (because they cannot compete with the elephant for food and habitat) - and because the elephants have decimated the other species' habitats. Some (other) species in Botswana are down in number by as much as 90 percent. The general average decline in other major species is said to be 60 percent. My personal belief - derived from the figures of elephant population increases in Botswana over the past 50 years (relative to the various states of the habitat during that same period) is that Botswana needs to reduce its elephant population by 200 000 animals. So much for the elephant being 'an endangered species'.

    The trouble with the 'conservation community' is that they provide the world with 'numbers' of elephants still alive (in a lump sum) - and 'numbers' of elephants being poached (in a lump sum) - and those numbers are NOT EVER quoted in relation to the sustainable carrying capacities of the habitats that support them. So we never know if the poaching is taking place on populations that are declining and being threatened (as a consequence); or on populations that are abundant and increasing. Neither are we ever told that the size of an elephant population ( ANY elephant population) is greater than the sustainable carrying capacity of its habitat - because the animal rightists are really NOT concerned about the health and vigour of habitats and/or of the protection of the soil that supports those habitats. It would not be in their interests to do any of those things - because it might tell the rest of the world what is really going on! Such is the duplicity of the "International Conservation Community".

    Although I do not approve or encourage poaching as a management tool, in many cases where poachers are killing elephants, they are doing the habitats and the other (plant and animal) species a great favour. They are reducing a massive and excessive biomass of one very abundant and robust animal species for the betterment of all the other animals (many of which are rare and/or habitat sensitive). They are also helping to preserve habitat diversity; AND the game reserves' general biological diversities.

    In practically every case in Savanah Africa - where elephants are accommodated in game reserves - their numbers are ABOVE the sustainable carrying capacities of their habitats; the habitats are consequently degrading; and all the other animal (and plant) species that share the game reserves with these elephant are suffering the consequences. In effect, therefore, the excessive elephant populations are causing massive biological diversity losses.

    IF Botswana (AND Zimbabwe; AND South Africa) was to start reducing its excessive numbers of elephants - with the current world attitude towards preserving elephants at all costs - there would be a hue and cry world-wide..... but especially from the 'International Conservation Community'; from Hilary Clinton and her foundation; from Barak Obama and the US Fish and Wildlife Service; and many other protectionists - YET THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT THESE COUNTRIES NEED TO DO IF THEY ARE TO PROPERLY MANAGE THEIR WILDLIFE RESOURCES AND NATIONAL PARKS. If they DON'T reduce their excessive elephant populations their wildlife resources ALTOGETHER will wither away; their wildlife biological diversities will crash; their game reserves will become deserts; and their tourism industries will suffer - ALL because of the MIS-management regimes for elephants that the rest of the world (especially America) has FORCED on Africa.

    What Africa needs at this time is the opportunity to investigate and to explore the most the appropriate way to manage its wildlife resources, for the benefit of Africa's people, into posterity. This includes the opportunity to transparently explore international markets for Africa's valuable wildlife products - as an adjunct to its wildlife management programmes. The human population in Africa (south of the Sahara) is expected to increase from c. 650 million people at this time, to 2.5 billion at the end of this century; and unless new an innovative ways are found to integrate the 'needs' of Africa's human populations with the 'needs' of its wildlife resources, and if this continent is to continue to suffer the ignominious imposition of wildlife management dictates from foreign countries, there isn't a hope in Hades of us being able to achieve such desirable solutions to our problems. And WE have a very high emotional and material vested interest in getting our wildlife management acts right in these dimensions. The Americans do NOT!

    America's NEW wildlife management dictates - the banning of the importation of ivory and elephant trophies into America from Tanzania and Zimbabwe - will make it virtually impossible for Africa to work out an equitable way of integrating the "needs" of its present and future human populations, with the "needs" of its wildlife resources. So if America wants to destroy Africa's wildlife it is going the right way about it. If it REALLY wants to help Africa it needs to remove its interfering fingers from the African wildlife pie.

    I am, personally, fed up with America and its gunboat diplomacies - and with the naivete of its political leaders - when it comes to Africa's wildlife. It is about time America withdrew its "wildlife gunboats" from Africa and let the people who know BEST - Africa's own wildlife experts - work out the continent's own salvations. What kind of country has America become when it believes it has the solutions to everybody's problems - and that it has the right to FORCE its opinions on the people of this continent (or any other)? It is no wonder the people of Africa are turning to India, China and South America for new partnerships (thus shunning American overtures). The people of Africa are fed up with America - and with America's bullying tactics! If people like Obama understood the syndrome at work here - and that he and his administration have been 'taken-in' by the biggest confidence industry the world has ever known (The Animal Rights Brigade) - they would hang their heads in shame and realise that responsible people all over the world think of them, with justification, as being nothing more than IGNOBLE FOOLS.

    I have spent the last 55 years of my life in the service of Africa's wildlife and I am not about to sit back (and say nothing) whilst politically opportunistic idiots like Obama destroy everything that I have loved, lived for and worked for. To hell with Obama and his 'big sticks'. Doesn't HE realise that he is now the "THE PUPPET" of the so-called "International Conservation Community" (many of whom have never set a proper foot in Africa)? Doesn't he (AND his US Fish and Wildlife Service - which is animal rights orientated anyway) understand that he now dances to whatever tune they wish to play and whenever they pull the strings? In the process, he has become America's national Number One 'COURT JESTOR'.

    But my concerns are not for Mr Obama. I am, right now, very concerned about the terrible destruction that his most recent irrational imposition will have on Africa's wildlife.

    In conclusion I repeat: The African elephant is VERY VERY far from facing extinction. One or two populations may be in trouble - YES - but NOT the species as a whole. The biggest problem with the African elephant - except for the fact of its many excessively large populations - is that it is being GROSSLY MIS-managed all over the continent. And it is being MIS-managed either because certain 'African Elephant Range State' governments are inept and/or corrupt; OR because political pressures from the First World deny us Africans the right to manage OUR OWN elephants the way WE believe they should be managed. And I must point out that Africa's wildlife experts know far more about what is going on, on our own continent, than does the US Fish and Wildlife Service! Now we have another bitter American pill to swallow; but we must not think this unusual. America's banning of elephant trophy imports from Tanzania and Zimbabwe is just ONE issue. It is the tip of the very big American "International Enforcement, Interfering and Bullying" Iceberg.

    Africa needs to start managing its wildlife on the basis of scientific realities and in accordance with the rational principles of good management - irrespective of what America or any other country says. It is ridiculous that we should continue to submissively MIS-manage our valuable wildlife resources in order satisfy another (bullying) country's self-serving political dictates. Politics has no part in scientific wildlife management. On this issue EVERYBODY needs to kick Mr. Obama's backside - continuously - until his nose bleeds!

    If Africa persists in aquiescing to political pressure from the United States - even if just with respect to its interference in our wildlife affairs - this continent will become an American Puppet.

    This would all be very funny if it wasn't quite so serious!!!!!!!!

    Ron Thomson
  19. Uintaelkhunter

    Uintaelkhunter AH Veteran

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    We'll said Ron, as an American not all of us think like the politicians we are as fed up with them mediling in other country's business as the rest of the world is of hearing about us. I really hope for change so much so that I have contemplated moving out of America and renouncing my citizenship. I really hope as an American that this change comes soon as I see a great downfall if it does not.
  20. ThomasBeaham

    ThomasBeaham BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    :clapping:

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