Photo of Hunterz Hub member TJ Sanchez with a Marco Polo Sheep from Tajikistan.
This past weekend, former Vice President Joe Biden hosted a virtual town hall in Illinois while campaigning for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. During the event he went on record as being opposed to the importation of animals hunted legally outside the United States. Such a ban is intended solely to stop outdoorsmen and women from hunting abroad, a longtime goal of the uninformed anti-hunting groups to whom Joe Biden is politically pandering.
Similar to legislation like the federal CECIL Act or the Iconic African Species Protection Act in California that threaten hunters ’rights, an import ban would not only fail to increase protections on wildlife species in Africa and elsewhere, it would actively impede scientifically-backed conservation strategies managed by range states and funded primarily by hunting dollars spent in range countries.
Someone like Pete Fick, who is a wildlife guide in Zimbabwe’s Bubye Wildlife Conservancy, would have a lot to teach the former Vice President. Fick and conservationists like him are adamant that “killing some animals so the rest of them can live is an absolute necessity out here.” By allowing hunting inside the conservancy, Bubye has been able to increase their resources on hand to push back against efforts by those looking to develop wildlife habitat into agricultural spaces, as well as hire more full-time anti-poaching patrols inside the area. In fact, the park management authorities cover 80% of the Conservancy’s $2.5 million annual maintenance costs with hunting dollars.
Safari Club International (SCI) CEO W. Laird Hamberlin responded to Joe Biden’s statement, saying “If Joe Biden truly cared about international wildlife, he would spend less time falsely claiming he was a sponsor of the Endangered Species Act and more time studying the abundance of evidence from the scientific community that shows hunting is a critical component of many countries’ successful wildlife conservation programs. Many of the people who oppose our mission at SCI are quick to accost others for not believing in science when it comes to climate change, yet seem to forget that same talking point when confronted with science that supports conservation through sustainable use.
Maybe Joe thinks no one is paying attention because of our national crisis…” Hamberlin continued “but rest assured that SCI is watching and ready as ever to fight for our people’s right to hunt. While we may be practicing social distancing, I’d still like to invite the former Vice President’s campaign to engage with us here at Safari Club International so that we can work together to make the world a better place for humans and wildlife to healthily coexist.