Zimbabwe to Appeal US Congress as Ivory Ban Hits Hunting


Bryan Latham, Bloomberg Businessweek

Date Published
Zimbabwe’s government will lobby a U.S. congressional panel in attempt to overturn a ban on ivory sales from the southern African nation that it says will damage its sport hunting industry.
The U.S. banned imports of ivory from Zimbabwe and Tanzania in February, citing uncertainty over whether the elephant populations were sustainable. As one of the so-called big five African animals elephants form an important part of Zimbabwe’s hunting industry, income from which had been forecast to grow by a third to $60 million this year.
Edson Chidziya, Director of Zimbabwe’s Parks and Wildlife Management Department, will travel to Washington next month to speak before a congressional panel, Zimbabwe’s environment minister Saviour Kasukuwere said in a telephone interview from the capital, Harare, today.
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“Discussions are at an advanced stage and I think the Americans will make a decision that supports the efforts we’ve made in Zimbabwe,” he said.
The visit to Washington follows a trip made by Chidziya in May to lobby against the ban. Many of the tourists who hunt in Zimbabwe are from the U.S. and ship their trophies, including elephant tusks, home. The cost of shooting an elephant, including guide fees and trophy shipping, is about $30,000.
Zimbabwe’s parks department says the country, which is slightly larger than the U.S. state of Montana, has an elephant population of about 100,000. Only neighboring Botswana, with an estimated 120,000, has more of the pachyderms.
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The southern African nation has a stockpile of about 70 metric tons of ivory taken from elephants, and a five tons of rhino horn, on which there is a global ban on trade.
To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Latham in Harare at [email protected]
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Nasreen Seria at [email protected] Antony Sguazzin, Karl Maier
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