By Miriam Raftery
March 21, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – President Trump is drawing fire from wildlife protection groups for launching a “wildlife conservation council” with a mission to promote big-game trophy hunting, not preserve wildlife, Mother Jones magazine reports.
The Council is specifically tasked with eliminating or reducing limits on hunting and importing endangered species. Recently, Trump acted on the Council’s recommendation and overturned a ban on importing elephant and lion trophies such as ivory tusks or heads from animals killed by trophy hunters.
The Council’s members include members of a hunting club that includes Dr. Walter Palmer, a dentist made infamous on the internet for killing Cecil the lion, a beloved lion at a national park in Zimbabwe.
Members include a safari hunting guide on a reality TV show, gun industry representatives, trophy hunting group members, and a veterinarian tied to an exotic animal breeding facility that reportedly sells endangered animals to roadside zoos and hunting parks.
Masha Kalinina, international trade policy specialist for the Humane Society International calls the Council “embarrassing,” noting that the council does not include any legitimate representatives of the conservation community with scientific credentials and a record of successful conservation programs, nor are there any wildlife law enforcement experts or biologists not profiting off trophy hunting.