To Import or Not To Import
A man from Texas has been allowed by the US government to import a hunting trophy from Africa back to the United States.
Corey Knowlton, a member of Dallas Safari Club donated $350,000 in a bid at a charity auction last year for the prize of having the ability to import an endangered black rhino back to the US if he successfully hunts one.
The clubs executive director, Ben Carter, sent a letter to the agency in December and has said that the money kindly donated by Dallas Safari Club members and from Mr Knowlton is “critical to supporting the Namibian government in their efforts to stem the tide of commercial killing of these animals”.
The initial inquest was published in November and since then, the US Fish & Wildlife Service has received more than 15,000 comments on the subject and there are 152,000 signatures demanding that the import be denied. Peta, the animal rights group said on Thursday that they are prepared to file a lawsuit.
The hunt has been postponed for now and the money from Mr Knowlton will be kept in escrow. A spokeswoman from the club, Jay Ann Cox, was not able to confirm a scheduled date for the hunt.
Namibia directly sold a hunting permit to Michael Luzich, a Las Vegas investment manager. The agency is allowing Mr Luzich to import his own black rhino trophy.
The Humane Society of the United States chief executive, Wayne Pacelle said that the federal agency is sending a “mixed message” and has also noted that rhino poaching is on the rise.