WASHINGTON—Today, the Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International released a shocking analysis of the 2021 Dallas Safari Club annual convention, taking place virtually Feb. 10 to 14. Trophy hunters, hunting outfitters and other businesses from around the world will gather online to buy, sell and auction the opportunity to kill iconic animals, such as elephants and polar bears, including canned hunts in the U.S., South Africa and Argentina.
- 849 exhibitors from 32 countries will participate virtually.
- 351 of those exhibitors will offer hunting trips to kill 319 species including critically endangered black rhinos, cheetah, brown bears and kangaroos, in 70 countries.
- 183 hunts in 24 countries were donated for auction to kill over 200 animals from leopards to bears.
- 16 canned hunts of exotic and native species are up for auction in the U.S.
- The most expensive auction hunt is for a $70,000 desert bighorn sheep in Mexico.
- Auction items are expected to generate more than $3.5 million for Dallas Safari Club, which lobbies against wildlife protection measures.
Kitty Block, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, said, “A pandemic is not slowing down the vile trophy hunting industry and the shameless conventions that celebrate the violent, needless slaughter of wild animals. As millions of people struggle to survive the pandemic, trophy hunters spend millions of dollars on grim globe-trotting trips to shoot beloved, iconic animals for bragging rights and collections of heads to hang on the wall.”
The HSUS/HSI analysis shows that the over 800 exhibitors registered to participate will sell not only trophy hunts but also wildlife body parts and products such as taxidermies, knives made of giraffe bones, furniture made of ostrich skin, boots and belts made of shark skin and elephant leather, and other home décor and fashion accessories made from animals.
“Science has shown that trophy hunting has caused the decline of wildlife populations including those of African lions, leopards and elephants” said Jeffrey Flocken, president of Humane Society International. “It is not conservation. It’s time for trophy hunters to stop hiding behind this ridiculous claim and admit that trophy hunting is just killing for fun.”
Among the exhibitors are 351 outfitters that together offer hunting packages to kill at least 319 species in 70 countries. These include hunts for the “African Big Five”—elephants, rhinos, lions, leopards and Cape buffalos—and the “Tiny Ten,” which are small African antelope species – some weighing less than eight pounds.
The Dallas Safari Club auction is expected to generate $3.5 million in revenue for the organization. The 185 items include donated hunts to kill at least 205 animals in 24 countries, among them: elephants, giraffes, hippos, Cape buffalos and crocodiles. There are at least 16 U.S. canned hunts being auctioned off. Eight are in Texas and the remainder are in Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri and Pennsylvania, to hunt species that include elk, exotic sheep and various antelope and deer species. Hunts involving captive animals who live inside a fenced in area are called canned hunts, captive hunts, estate hunts or high fence hunts.
Among the most expensive hunts for auction are a $70,000 hunt for desert bighorn sheep in Mexico and a 10-day hunt for a brown bear in Alaska for $52,850. Other hunts include elephant hunts in Zimbabwe and Zambia, giraffe in South Africa, and leopard in Namibia. Items like firearms; apparel made of beaver, mink and lynx fur; Swarovski Optik equipment such as a riflescope; and an $80,000 diamond necklace are up for auction as well.
The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International have gone undercover in previous years at both the Dallas Safari Club convention and the Safari Club International convention. Outfitters exposed in February 2019 and 2020 by the groups for offering captive-bred lion hunts at SCI are among the Dallas Safari Club’s exhibitors this year, despite the club’s recent statement in opposition to canned lion hunts.
Members of the public who are opposed to this senseless cruelty can sign the pledge against the trophy hunting of wildlife.