News & Opinion | July 17, 2018 11:41 am

The Trump Admin Is Rebranding Trophy Hunting As Good For Animals

Critics worry the advisory board will protect the hobby, not the creatures.

trophy hunting
A family's "trophy room" at their home on July 20, 2010 in Longmont, Colorado. (James Ambler / Barcroft USA / Getty Images)
Barcroft Media via Getty Images

In 2017, Donald Trump created an advisory board to steer U.S. policy on big-game trophy hunting, something he has called a “horror show” despite his own sons’ participation in elephant and leopard hunts. The board is made up of advocates for the hunting of elephants, giraffes and other threatened species—not conservation scientists and wildlife advocates, writes The Guardian. 

Observers say that since Trump took office, court rulings and administrative decisions have made it easier for hunters to import body parts of animals killed in Africa, like lions and elephants.

Trophy hunting is when wealthy hunters pay tens of thousands of dollars to shoot endangered beasts. The advisory board, called the International Wildlife Conservation Council (IWCC) argues that the sport is a laudable method of conservation.

Awareness of the sport has increased in part thanks to social media but trophy hunters still hold immense clout in the Trump administration, reports The Guardian. Trump’s sons, Donald Jr and Eric, both hunt frequently in Africa. Interior secretary Ryan Zinke received $10,000 from the Safari Club during his 2016 congressional campaign.