Congressman Vern Buchanan

Representing the 16th District of Florida

Buchanan Opposes Trump Decision Allowing Elephant “Trophies”

Nov 17, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON — Congressman Vern Buchanan today strongly objected to lifting a ban against African elephant trophies, saying the world’s largest land mammal is a threatened species facing extinction.

“We should not encourage the hunting and slaughter of these magnificent creatures,” Buchanan said. “We don’t get a second chance once a species becomes extinct.”

Over 30,000 elephants are slaughtered for their tusks every year – one every 18 minutes.

Buchanan and Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), co-chairs of the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus, released the following statement in opposition to the Trump Administration’s decision to reverse the ban on elephant “trophy” imports:

“African elephants are a threatened species and face extinction in our lifetime. As part of the international effort to reverse this trend, we strongly support the ban on imports of elephant “trophies” from Zambia and Zimbabwe. We are deeply disappointed by reports that there are plans to remove this ban, and as co-chairs of the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus, we are united in our effort to maintain the existing ban.”

The decision allowing the importation of body parts from African elephants shot for sport reverses a 2014 ban imposed by the Obama administration.

The Animal Protection Caucus co-chaired by Buchanan and Blumenauer is a bipartisan group of more than 100 members of Congress dedicated to preventing animal cruelty, protecting endangered species and advancing animal welfare policies.

Buchanan last year was the first Congressman from Florida ever to receive the Humane Society’s top honor, Legislator of the Year. His strong record of defending animals includes opposing weaker protections for the Florida manatee and panther, as well as urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture to restore a database of animal cruelty information that the department removed suddenly and without notice. He has also introduced the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act, bipartisan legislation that permanently bans the transport of horses to slaughterhouses in Mexico to be sold around the world.