Condemning Trump’s Trophy Hunting Madness

John has signed a cross-party letter urging Donald Trump to halt attempts to lift the ban on elephant trophy hunting imports from Zimbabwe. 

The letter, written by Catherine Bearder MEP, gained the support of 63 cross-party MEPs and calls on Trump to instead work together with the EU and tackle rapidly declining biodiversity.

If successful, Trump’s plans would support the trophy hunting industry in Zimbabwe, a highly profit driven trade which employs a very small number of people, with very little benefit to local economies and conservation programmes.

John said, "I welcome my colleague's initiative and I am happy to sign this letter along with MEPs of all parties – it is very important that there is concern right across the political spectrum on this appalling action. The trade trophy hunting relics undermines the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) agreement. The actions of Mr Trump will bring the extinction of important species closer."

Like so much President Trump does, the measures have an uncomfortable closeness to the proclivities of the Trump family. His offspring are pictured above with wild animals that they have bravely killed from a distance and an elephant tail trophy. African elephants are endangered species listed under CITES since 1976.  

The text of the letter reads as follows:

8th March 2018

Dear President Trump,

We are disturbed by your administration’s decision to lift the ban on elephant trophy imports from Zimbabwe. Elephants are endangered species and play important roles in the ecosystem maintaining the environment for hundreds of animal and plant species. African elephants have suffered catastrophic declines and studies have shown that trophy hunting is contributing to this downward trend.

Unlike poaching, trophy hunting is legal in Zimbabwe, however trophy hunting does not help with conservation efforts. The hunting business in Africa is a highly profit driven trade which employs a very small number of people and the revenue that trickles into local communities and conservation programmes is insignificant. In reality, wildlife management in many African countries is fraught with corruption.

In the European Union we have a comprehensive Action Plan against Wildlife Trafficking which sets out a strategy for EU Member States to curb the scourge of the illegal wildlife trade which is causing irreversible damage to the planet and our society. Trophy hunting is proven to feed that illegal market and encourage the trade in illegal ivory.

We believe that the EU and the US should be working together to tackle the issue of rapidly declining biodiversity. The idea of killing elephants to protect their survival is counterintuitive and shown to be wrong. The hunting business is distorting conservation efforts and must be stopped if we want to preserve these and other endangered species. The combination of poaching and trophy hunting will lead to the extinction of elephants. We therefore press upon you to retract your decision to lift the ban and join the EU and the global community to conserve and protect endangered species.

Yours sincerely.

Catherine Bearder MEP (United Kingdom)

Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy MEP (Netherlands)

Keith Taylor MEP (United Kingdom)

Sophie Montel MEP (France)

Kateřina Konečná MEP (Czech Republic)

Ivo Vajgl MEP (Slovenia)

Jude Kirton-Darling MEP (United Kingdom)

Stefan Eck MEP (Germany)

Petras Auštrevičius MEP (Lithuania)

Theresa Griffin MEP (United Kingdom)

John Howarth MEP (United Kingdom)

Petr Ježek MEP (Czech Republic)

Alyn Smith MEP (United Kingdom)

Ernest Urtasun MEP (Spain)

Molly Scott Cato MEP (United Kingdom)

Marco Affronte MEP (Italy)

David Martin MEP (United Kingdom)

Patricia Lalonde MEP (France)

Paul Brannan MEP (United Kingdom)

Karoline Graswander-Hainz MEP (Austria)

Fabio Massimo Castaldo MEP (Italy)

José Inácio Faria MEP (Portugal)

Linda McAvan MEP (United Kingdom)

Merja Kyllönen MEP (Finland)

Monika Vana MEP (Austria)

Emil Radev MEP (Bulgaria)

Joachim Schuster MEP (Germany)

Nessa Childers MEP (Ireland)

Emma McClarkin MEP (United Kingdom)

Benedek Jávor MEP (Hungary)

Kathleen Van Brempt MEP (Belgium)

Robert Rochefort MEP (France)

Lidia Geringer de Oedenberg MEP (Poland)

Florian Philippot MEP (France)

Claude Rolin MEP (Belgium)

Yannick Jadot MEP (France)

Jiří Pospíšil MEP (Czech Republic)

David Borrelli MEP (Italy)

Susanne Melior MEP (Germany)

Hilde Vautmans MEP (Belgium)

Carolina Punset MEP (Spain)

Florent Marcellesi MEP (Spain)

Csaba Sógor MEP (Romania)

Guillaume Balas MEP (France)

Lola Sánchez Caldentey MEP (Spain)

Jill Evans MEP (United Kingdom)

Charles Tannock MEP (United Kingdom)

Elmar Brok MEP (Germany)

Eleonora Evi MEP (Italy)

Helga Trüpel MEP (Germany)

Michal Boni MEP (Poland)

Karin Kadenbach MEP (Austria)

Olga Sehnalová MEP (Czech Republic)

Claude Turmes MEP (Luxembourg)

Jytte Guteland MEP (Sweden)

Olle Ludvigsson MEP (Sweden)

Jens Nilsson MEP (Sweden)

Marita Ulvskog MEP (Sweden)

Anna Hedh MEP (Sweden)

Karima Delli MEP (France)

Anja Hazekamp MEP (Netherlands)

Sirpa Pietikäinen MEP (Finland)

Dario Tamburrano MEP (Italy)

Alex Mayer MEP (United Kingdom)

Julie Ward MEP (United Kingdom)