SILVER SPRING, Md. – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently announced a decision to allow the import of elephant trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia. In response, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) issued the following statement:
“This week, it was announced that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has approved the resumption of elephant hunting trophy imports from Zimbabwe and Zambia. It is the responsibility of the USFWS to ensure that any trophy import will enhance survival of wild elephants, and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and its members are confident in the career professionals who make these decisions. Unfortunately, the way this announcement was made has created public confusion at a crucial point. What is vitally important is for this Administration to find a voice and project strong leadership on the crucial issue of wildlife trafficking. Elephant populations are being decimated by poaching and trafficking in ivory. Allowing trophy imports will not solve this crisis, but it is, quite clearly, causing confusion and distraction. We implore the Department of the Interior to provide the clear voice and committed leadership needed to address the global epidemic in wildlife trafficking.”
Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, animal welfare, education, science, and recreation. AZA is the accrediting body for the top zoos and aquariums in the United States and eight other countries. Look for the AZA accreditation logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. The AZA is a leader in saving species and your link to helping animals all over the world. To learn more, visit www.aza.org.
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