Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), recently wrote a blog post regarding a legal petition that HSUS and Humane Society International (HSI) filed urging the federal management authority to add African leopards to the endangered species list. If approved, this would require importers of leopard carcasses or body parts to meet stringent standards, and therefore discourage American hunters from shooting them. Sub-Saharan Africa’s leopard population has dropped by one-third over the last quarter century, yet trophy hunters such as Donald Trump, Jr., 38-year-old son of the Republican presidential nominee, still shoot them and other “big game” for sport. If his father is elected Commander in Chief, Trump Jr. wants to be appointed Secretary of the Interior, which oversees big game trophy imports, potentially empowering him to ensure hunters can bring animal trophies into the United States. This follows a successful 2015 petition by HSUS and HSI to protect African lions under the Endangered Species Act, which resulted in no African lions being imported into the US in 2016, down from approximately 560 a year.
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