The United States has moved to allow hunters to import big-game trophies, including elephant tusks and lion hides, acquired in certain African countries with approvals granted on an individual basis.
The decision, reported in a memorandum published last week by the federal Fish and Wildlife Service, overturns an Obama-era ban on some trophies and contradicts public statements by President Trump, who had endorsed the restrictions.
In November, agency officials moved to lift the ban on elephant trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia. The new policy supersedes and broadens that decision, officials said.
Traditionally, the agency has considered imports of trophies from certain endangered species on a nation-by-nation basis. The Endangered Species Act stipulates that in order for such trophies to be approved, exporting countries must demonstrate that hunting enhances survival of a particular species in the wild — by reinvesting the money into conservation, for example, and by supporting local communities.