Trump advisory panel on importing animal trophies is full of avid trophy hunters, friends of Donald Trump Jr.

African animal "trophies"
(Image credit: Issouf Sanogo/AFP/Getty Images)

When the Trump administration's decision to allow hunters of African elephants to bring their "trophies" back into the U.S. was poorly received, President Trump handed the decision to a committee charged with helping write federal rules on importing the heads and hides of elephants, lions, and rhinos. Then Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke stocked the committee with active trophy hunters, The Associated Press reports, and a review of "the backgrounds and social media posts of the 16 board members" strongly suggests "they will agree with his position that the best way to protect critically threatened or endangered species is by encouraging wealthy Americans to shoot some of them."

Most people on Zinke's so-called International Wildlife Conservation Council are high-profile members of Safari Club International and the NRA, and at least three of them are friendly with avid big game hunter Donald Trump Jr. — one, gun executive Peter Horn, co-owns the Trump sons' hunting property in New York's Hudson Valley. There are also several hunting-related TV personalities and guides, including Ivan Carter, a British citizen who called public revulsion over the shooting of Cecil the Lion "the 'Twin Towers' of the hunting world — our 9-11," and celebrity archer Cameron Hanes, who argued in a podcast last month that hunting allows animals like elephants to "have value."

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Peter Weber, The Week US

Peter has worked as a news and culture writer and editor at The Week since the site's launch in 2008. He covers politics, world affairs, religion and cultural currents. His journalism career began as a copy editor at a financial newswire and has included editorial positions at The New York Times Magazine, Facts on File, and Oregon State University.