US District Court Judge throws out court case against import ban on game trophies


(Posted 09th June 2014)

Hunting companies in Tanzania and Zimbabwe are left to count their losses as a court case brought in the United States against recent new regulations, banning the import of game trophies from the two countries by the Obama administration, failed to overturn the ban.

US District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson gave a lengthy ruling in which she sided with the administration, namely US Fish and Wildlife, which put a moratorium in place effectively denying hunters from the US the chance to come back with their trophies, thought to lead to a serious downturn of hunting activities in the two countries. The ban was imposed in early April over shocking reports of poaching on a commercial scale in both countries and the respective government’s apparent inability or unwillingness to stop poaching by any means possible.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism reportedly has plans to appeal to the American government directly to lift the ban but the latest court ruling has certainly strengthened the position of US Fish and Wildlife in the face of conservationists demands to ban hunting altogether.

Recent census figures from the Selous and the Ruaha / Mikumi area of Tanzania showed a dramatic fall in elephant numbers over the past few years, attributed to large scale slaughter among the big herds as the demand in the Far East, in particular in China, for ivory rose to unprecedented levels. Tanzania was named by Interpol as one of the main countries from where blood ivory is exported or which is used as a transit route for blood ivory from third countries, leaving her reputation as a conservation nation in tatters, made worse by reports in the Daily Mail on Sunday a few months ago which painted a very unfavourable picture of how the government in Tanzania has done little in the past to stem the tide.

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