Guess Who’s Writing New Big Game Hunting Rules for Trump – The Hunters!

With all of the hubbub over trophy kill imports from Africa, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke has decided to convene a U.S. advisory board to rewrite some of the rules on big game hunting. Under most administrations, that would appear to be a positive step, yet Zinke assembled a group of hunting fanatics – do we even need to speculate on how this is going to turn out?

The Associated Press looked into the 16 people named to the International Wildlife Conservation Council and it’s a who’s who of trophy hunters. Just about every member is either a high-ranking official of either the NRA or Safari Club International, organizations with a history of suing the government to loosen regulations on hunting.

Among these board members are affluent trophy hunters who boast top big game kills, celebrity hunting guides and lobbyists for weapon manufacturers. One of them, Peter Horn, a current Beretta executive, even owns a hunting preserve with Eric and Don Jr. Trump.

A lopsided crew like this is bound to reach only one conclusion: that trophy hunting is great for conservation efforts and therefore should be expanded. Zinke himself gave a nod to the inevitable findings when he said, “This council will provide important insight into the ways that Americans sportsmen and women benefit international conservation from boosting economies and creating hundreds of jobs to enhance wildlife conservation.”

Of course, these are people who get a kick out of slaughtering large and rare mammals, and not actual conservationists who point to research that shows hunting money is often misappropriated and doesn’t help protect vulnerable species.

The real money allocated toward preservation tends to come from tourists whose only interest in shooting is shooting photographs of the animals. That’s a solution that should be prioritized over killing one where millionaires get to shoot one for “fun” and pretend they’re doing something good for the planet.

Keith Mark, a hunting enthusiast and another friend of Don Jr., claimed he would have no preplanned “agenda” in his participation on the council, then immediately contradicted that statement by saying, “I see the world from a hunting lifestyle. It’s the most pure form of hands-on conservation that there is. I will approach all decision-making with my background.”

Fortunately, there’s a pushback to this highly biased commission. Animal welfare organizations have gone public to declare Zinke’s dream team of hunters is in potential violation of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, which stipulates that committees like this one need to have members with varying viewpoints and shouldn’t be full of corporate lobbyists.

Then again, with all of the other things the Trump administration gets away with these days, it’s hard to imagine who exactly would be able to hold Zinke accountable. Plus, the Interior Department has since released a statement saying that the board has members “represent[ing] all areas of conservation and varying opinions.” That’s blatantly untrue, but what else is new from this White House?

Take Action

For the sake of the animals, we can’t give up. Although Trump has seemingly let Zinke do whatever he wants when it comes to trophy hunting, he’s also spoken out against loosening the rules on trophy hunts, so he could be pressured into clamping down on Zinke.

To other option is to bypass the White House altogether. Sign this petition calling on Congress to pass some of its own trophy hunting laws without the White House’s input.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

105 comments

John J
John J15 days ago

thanks for sharing

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John J
John J15 days ago

thanks for sharing

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Marie W
Marie W8 months ago

thanks for sharing

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Liliana G
Liliana Gabout a year ago

Already signed. So cynical of all of them it's hard to find words!

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Cate S
Cate Sabout a year ago

Shocking.

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Sue H
Sue Habout a year ago

Unacceptable. :(

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Christine S
Christine Sabout a year ago

outrageous

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Ellie M
Ellie Mabout a year ago

ty

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Amanda M
Amanda Mabout a year ago

noted

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Amanda M
Amanda Mabout a year ago

noted

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