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Lions next in line of fire as US rolls back curbs on African hunting trophies

Lions next in line of fire as US rolls back curbs on African hunting trophies

THE GUARDIAN – OLIVER MILMAN

Hunting interests have scored a major victory with the Trump administration’s decision to allow Americans to bring home body parts of elephants shot for sport in Africa. Another totemic species now looks set to follow suit – lions.

As the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) was announcing it was lifting a ban on the import of elephant “trophies” from Zimbabwe and Zambia, it also quietly published new guidelines that showed lions shot in the two African countries will also be eligible to adorn American homes.

“This all suggests that rather than being the protectors of wildlife, the federal government is now a promoter of trophy hunting,” said Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States.

“They are rolling out the red carpet to the next Walter Palmer, and that same sort of situation will happen all over again,” Pacelle added, referencing the Minnesota dentist who sparked an international furore after he shot and killed Cecil, a famous black-maned lion that was lured from a protected reserve in Zimbabwe.

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