Washington, D.C. – Safari Club International Foundation (SCI Foundation) congratulates the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) for adopting a new definition of the term “hunting trophy.” The new definition goes in to affect today, June 26, 2014.“The new definition recognizes the exceptional contributions made by U.S. hunters to the conservation funding system for wildlife in Africa, Asia, and around the world,” SCI Foundation President Joe Hosmer said. “We thank the FWS for adopting this regulation which recognizes CITES authority on international trade and look forward to seeing it transform the importation process for U.S. hunters.”
The new definition was initially adopted in 2010 as a guiding principle by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), an international agreement between governments whose aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. This definition allows individual hunters to import all parts of their hunted animal, including manufactured items. The change lifts the burden off other countries trying to accommodate the additional processes required by the U.S, and establishes international consistency. Fewer seizures of lawfully taken trophy imports will result.
SCI Foundation and the European Federation of Associations for Hunting & Conservation (FACE) strongly contributed to the CITES drafting group tasked with creating a working definition that was applicable to all countries. Now, 180 countries including the U.S. will be using the CITES definition.
“One of Safari Club’s greatest achievements at CITES has been the creation of the hunting trophy definition because it embraces all hunters travelling internationally. We are pleased to see the FWS align themselves with CITES. With some exceptions, the new definition gives freedom to U.S. hunters, allowing them to import whatever he or she considers the memento of their hunt. The former definition was overly strict and at times counterproductive towards encouraging wildlife conservation through sustainable use,” SCI Foundation Deputy Director of Conservation Matt Eckert concluded.
In July 2014, SCI Foundation will be traveling to the 65th meeting of the CITES Standing Committee and will participate in discussions on trade in hunting trophies. SCI Foundation is the reputable source for science-based wildlife management goals that benefit overall wildlife population health and sustainability worldwide.