To the editor:
In the past decade, noteworthy gains in animal awareness and welfare have been made all over the world, but the job isn’t finished.
Following the death of a lion named Mopane, allegedly at the hands of an American, trophy hunting has reared its ugly head. Mopane was a father and one of two males heading a pride of lions outside a national park in Zimbabwe. He was killed by a trophy hunter in early August, two years after his partner was gunned down. Some may remember Cecil, another iconic lion, shot by a Minnesota hunter and inciting outrage six years ago. All three deaths occurred in the same general area and for the same purpose — to decorate a wall.
The African lion is protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Yet, under a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service permitting scheme, trophy hunters are allowed to import the carcasses of lions and other animals threatened with extinction.
There’s no logic here and absolutely nothing to defend trophy hunting. But with their wealth, trophy hunters can buy the thrill of the kill and continue to decimate dwindling animal populations.
While the EU is the largest importer of lion trophies, the U.S. has the dubious distinctions of importing the most hunting trophies overall. The Prohibiting Threatened and Endangered Creature Trophies Act (ProTECT Act) would prohibit the import of a trophy of any species listed under the Endangered Species Act.
Please urge your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives to support it.