In a letter (PDF) sent today to Tanzanian President John Magufuli, the Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International strongly urged the government to rescind its decision to grant a hunting concession to Green Mile Company Limited, an operator previously expelled from the country for appalling and abusive killing of wildlife. A 2014 promotional video for Green Mile depicts hunting safari participants killing animals with semi-automatic weapons and pistols, running over animals with their cars, shooting at animals from moving vehicles, and engaging in other deplorable forms of animal cruelty. HSUS and HSI called the 2014 series of incidents “disqualifying” and more than sufficient grounds to deny Green Mile the concession.
Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the HSUS, stated: “It is appalling that the Tanzanian government has reinstated the hunting license and concession of a trophy hunting company known for committing egregious acts of animal cruelty and a series of violations of Tanzania’s wildlife laws. There must be consequences for the atrocious and illegal slaughter of wildlife, and denying a concession within the country should be the least of those consequences.
“It is time for Tanzania, following the lead of Botswana and Kenya, to take a sharp turn in the direction of the Humane economy, creating explicit policies to protect its wildlife and building up commercial uses that leave the living capital in place. You can shoot an elephant or a lion only once, but you can watch these creatures in their natural environment a hundred or a thousand times, monetizing each of those moments. Trophy hunting, and mass slaying of wildlife, deducts from wildlife watching experiences and leaves the landscape bare of the creatures who animate it and who have characteristics to attract millions of visitors throughout the world.”
- Tanzania is estimated to be the eighth largest exporter of hunting trophies in the world.
- Between 2005 and 2014, the United States—the top importer of wildlife trophies in the world—imported hunting trophies of 4,970 African buffalo, 1,163 African leopards, 633 African lions, and 374 African elephants from Tanzania.
- The U.S. has not permitted the importation of elephant hunting trophies from Tanzania since 2014. In 2015, the European Union prohibited imports of elephant hunting trophies from Tanzania. Also in 2015, Australia and France banned imports of lion trophies from all countries of export. In 2016, the Netherlands prohibited imports of hunting trophies of over 200 species.
- Forty-five airlines have instituted bans on the shipment of the African Big Five (elephant, lion, leopard, rhino, and buffalo) hunting trophies, and in some cases all trophies.
- Elephant populations in Tanzania have suffered a 60 percent decline during the last five years according to a study released in May 2015.
- Tanzania is one of the hotspots in Africa for ivory trafficking. The high-profile prosecution of the “Ivory Queen”, a Chinese national residing in Tanzania charged with trafficking ivory worth at least $2.5 million, is ongoing.
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- Media Relations