President Donald Trump has suspended the import of elephant hunting trophies, only a day after a ban was relaxed by his administration. Imports of trophies from elephants legally hunted in Zambia and Zimbabwe had been set to resume, reversing a 2014 Obama-era ban.
But late on Friday, President Trump tweeted the change was on hold until he could “review all conservation facts”. The move to relax the ban had sparked immediate anger from animal activists. “Your shameful actions confirm the rumours that you are unfit for office,” said French actress and animal-rights activist Brigitte Bardot in a letter to President Trump.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) had argued that hunting fees could aid conservation of the endangered animals. Experts say that populations of African elephants are plummeting. Their numbers dropped by about 30% from 2007-14, according to the 2016 Great Elephant Census.