WASHINGTON — Thousands of trophy hunters from around the world will gather next week in Reno, Nev. (Feb. 5 through 8), for Safari Club International’s annual convention, which will feature approximately 870 exhibitors showcasing and selling trophy hunting opportunities and wildlife parts and products, from animal heads to hides. In addition, trophy hunter Donald Trump Jr. is scheduled to speak at the event on Feb. 8.
Kitty Block, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, said, “This annual event is the largest meeting in the world of people who celebrate the senseless killing, buying and selling of dead animals for bragging rights. As our planet suffers an extinction crisis, it is business as usual for the trophy hunting industry and SCI, who continue to revel in spending millions of dollars every year to destroy imperiled wildlife.”
The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International have analyzed the products promoted for sale and auctions of trophy hunts by exhibitors attending the upcoming 2020 convention. Among those are more than 300 trophy hunts in the U.S. and abroad whose starting bids range from $1,650 to $100,000 each. These hunts will kill at least 860 animals of over 50 species, including black bears, wolves, leopards and elephants. The auctions are expected to bring in more than $5 million to SCI. One of the hunts up for bid is a black-tailed deer hunt with Donald Trump Jr. in Alaska for $17,000.
Jeff Flocken, president of Humane Society International, said, “The trophy hunting industry’s conservation claim is shattered by SCI’s promotion of and profit from killing rare and imperiled animals. Trophy hunting is unethical, ecologically devastating and inflicts tremendous cruelty on wild animals. It’s time that we move beyond a colonial pastime and celebrate wild animals in their natural environment.”
In addition to Donald Trump Jr. speaking at the event, the Beach Boys and Charlie Daniels are scheduled to perform at the convention. The group REO Speedwagon had been scheduled, but they pulled out of the event and HSUS and HSI applauds their decision.
According to reports, Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi is slated to attend this year’s convention to accept an award. Last year, the government of Botswana lifted a ban on elephant hunting in the country, for which he received SCI’s praise, despite local and international backlash and opposition from elephant experts.
The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International are urging the public to ask the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to deny any authorization for Trump Jr. to import the trophy of an Argali sheep he killed in Mongolia last year