The Trump Admin is Quietly Approving Lion Trophy Imports for Big GOP Donors

Thirty-eight severed lion heads have entered the United States as “keepsakes” over the past two years. Despite overwhelming public opposition to trophy hunting, big game hunters have found a complicit ally in the Trump administration, which has been willing to quietly approve requests to bring the corpses of threatened African animals.

Earlier this year, the White House decided to no longer make records on animal trophies public, and instead make that information inaccessible without a records request. Friends of Animals, a non-profit animal advocacy group, decided it was worth jumping through that hoop, filing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to see how often deceased lions were being imported.

The documents showed 38 successful permits, awarded to 33 different hunters. That sure seems like a lot given that the president himself had spoken out against importing trophy when word that the FWS wanted to change its policy emerged late last year.

Ultimately, Donald Trump caved (or perhaps he just didn’t care much in the first place) with the FWS. He instead declared that they would look at all permits for importing animal trophies on a “case by case basis.” From the looks of it, the government feels that a lot of cases of slaughtering lions are warranted.

When asked for a comment, the FWS defended the approval of these permits, arguing that they are thoroughly vetted and considered an important part of saving the animals since big game hunting money supposedly (but probably not really) goes toward conservation.

Information on this practice is limited to what was obtained through the FOIA, therefore it’s not publicly known how this number compares to the amount of permits granted under previous administrations or how often requests for permits are denied, for that matter.

Beyond the number of permits granted, what really ought to be explored is who is on the receiving end of these exceptions. Friends of Animals found that more than half of the permits in the past couple years come from connected GOP donors. People who have raised or given Republican candidates and PACs large sums of money, including to Trump himself, are on that list, like Kent Greenawalt, Steven Chancellor, Philip Glass, Justin Hedgecock and Thomas Whaley.

If you want to mount a lion’s head on your wall, it looks like it pays to have powerful people indebted to you! One could also argue that it’s not a matter of the administration paying back favors, but that wealthy jerks who kill rare animals for fun are more likely to be Republicans.

Take Action

Over 600,000 Care2 members have signed a petition calling on the Trump administration to amend its existing policy on trophy imports. Join this powerful bloc by adding your signature to the list – let’s make sure the White House knows that the people want to see non-lethal conservation methods supersede what a few millionaire hunters do as a hobby.

 

Photo credit: Thinkstock

171 comments

Jack Y
Jack Y2 months ago

thanks

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Jack Y
Jack Y2 months ago

thanks

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John J
John J2 months ago

thanks for sharing

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John J
John J2 months ago

thanks for sharing

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Marie W
Marie W3 months ago

thanks for posting

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Margie FOURIE
Margie FOURIE9 months ago

Why dont they have open season on humans. At least they are not endangered.

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Petra Demmers
Petra Demmers9 months ago

Fiona O Let me guess....., fake news???
On one thing I agree with you: it would be best if no journalists, television/radio stations, newspapers or internetsites would write/transmit one word, one second on him! Oh no!, unfortunately that's not possible, because people all around the globe have to be informed about what he's doing. Not only to humans and animals ,but also to Mother Earth where we all have to live on!!
And yes!, unfortunately he thrives on all the publicity given to him for free or self-aggrandisemently sought!

"America first", his favourite slogan only means "I don't give a shit about others or anything" as long I and my friends can make good profits and stay in power.
He just trashed Europe (except his good friend Poetin from Russia), but I wonder if he knows that his and all of your ancestors (except the true, original American natives) originate from that same Europe.......
Without mine and your ancestors the current American wouldn't even excist!

But since he's one of the privileged few (and no, he didn't make all his money on his own merrit!!), he doesn't give a rats ars about others. And that includes the people who voted for him.
Making "America great again" means only more business, more money for him and his friends.

I'm not decepted and I don"t bash others, but I have zero respect for the man who now sits in your White House and (unfortunately) is the major ruler of the "free world".
And writi

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Mark Donner
Mark Donner9 months ago

"Fiona O." ? "Trump bashing deception" He's a CRIMINAL PSYCHOTIC. You know like Hitler, the ISIS leaders, Ted Bundy, etc. He's no different than the worst psychotic dictators and serial killers in history. Trump would slaughter your children with a smile pasted on his evil bloated Alzheimer face if he could get away with that and profit from doing so. But Trump is worse than the ISIS leaders, since he goes beyond genocide into destroying all life on Earth. There is no terrorist in history worse than Trump.

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Janis K
Janis K9 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Janet B
Janet B9 months ago

Thanks

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