Safari Club International (SCI) strongly opposes section 436 of the Interior Appropriations Bill, which is now set for a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives the week of July 26th. If passed, it will include a blanket ban on trophy imports from a sport hunted elephant or lion from Tanzania, Zimbabwe, or Zambia and have a devastating impact on African communities and species conservation. We need your help in ensuring this bill does not become law – contact your Representative TODAY and urge them to OPPOSE the inclusion of Section 436 in H.R. 4372, the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act.
SCI has also drafted a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Republican Leader McCarthy detailing strong opposition to Section 436 of the Interior Appropriations bill.
It is critical for Congress to understand the facts. Well-regulated international hunting is vital to conservation, maintaining biodiversity, and species survival in southern Africa and around the world. Hunting programs, especially those involving rural communities in conservation and management, are proven tools to sustain both species and habitat. Hunting has contributed to the recovery and maintenance of biodiversity across southern Africa, including African Elephant, African Lion, Southern White Rhino, Black Rhino, Mountain Zebra, Bontebok, Black Wildebeest, and many other species. Hunting provides communities with economic incentives, community development and employment, anti-poaching resources, and wildlife management.
Section 436 ignores the overwhelming scientific research supporting the benefits of hunting to wildlife. The vast majority of wild African animals live in the countries where they are hunted and have seen substantial population growth. Without hunting, wildlife drastically declines; in Kenya, a country that banned hunting in the 1970s, there has been an approximate 70% decrease in wildlife.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) states, “[w]ell managed trophy hunting, which takes place in many parts of the world, can and does generate critically needed incentives and revenue for government, private and community landowners to maintain and restore wildlife as a land use and to carry out conservation actions (including anti-poaching interventions). It can return much needed income, jobs, and other important economic and social benefits to indigenous and local communities in places where these benefits are often scarce.
A ban on trophy imports is a misguided attempt to dictate the management of African wildlife, a right which inherently belongs to Africans. When the U.S. attempts to undermine the management authority of a sovereign nation and impose legislation which will effectively ban imports, it has real, devastating consequences – for wildlife and people. SCI will continue to stand for African leadership, fight for science-based conservation, and be First for Hunters around the world.