美國影響力最大的狩獵遊說團體「國際狩獵俱樂部」（Safari Club International，SCI）本月舉辦拍賣會，要以280頭南非動物的性命換取募款，遊說川普政權放寬受威脅物種保護政策，「非洲五霸」——非洲象、黑犀牛、獅子、非洲水牛和豹都可能受到影響。
SCI希望能藉此對川普政府形成穩定影響力，尤其是掌管自然資源的內政部。該團體還金援不少美國政治行動委員會（簡稱PAC），其中的「捍衛狩獵基金」（Hunter Defense Fund）即是負責積極拉抬、支持戰利品狩獵活動的政治人物進入國會。
另一家戰利品狩獵公司（Watts Trophy Hunting）甚至給出加價升等，提供一隻大象和一隻非洲獅的獵殺名額。這兩個物種已因盜獵陷入生存危機，戰利品狩獵只會讓問題雪上加霜。
國際人道協會（Humane Society International）目前提出呼籲，希望南非公民聯署聲明，中止戰利品狩獵這樣殘忍的活動。
Safari Club International, America’s most powerful hunting lobby group, this week will auction the lives of 280 South African animals to raise funds to lobby the Trump administration against measures protecting threatened species, such as the Big Five: elephant, rhino, lion, buffalo and leopard.
At a trophy hunting convention the Safari Club International is hosting in Las Vegas February 1-4, the hunting lobby group expects an estimated 25,000 hunters to bid on at least 60 South African hunting trips.
American hunters are being offered the chance to kill all of South Africa’s iconic species.
Successful bidders will be able to shoot giraffe, hippo, zebra, baboon, wildebeest, sable antelope, warthog, greater kudu, impala, springbok, blesbok, caracal, African wildcat, with 119 other animals proffered as “upgrades” for an additional cost.
The South Africa hunts are valued at US$1.01 million, from an estimated total of US$5.3 million from other hunts on auction. These include the hunting of some 1,000 mammals internationally, including imperiled polar bears.
All profits from the trophy hunts will go directly toward funding SCI to actively lobby the U.S. government towards a pro-hunting stance. The group will hope to wield considerable influence on the Trump administration, especially the Department of the Interior, which manages natural resources.
Based in Tucson, Arizona, SCI filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in January defending the practice of aerial hunting and other inhumane predator-killing practices in natural refuges in Alaska.
The group financially supports U.S. political action committees (PACs) like the Hunter Defense Fund, which actively works to elect pro-trophy hunting politicians to Congress.
President Trump’s sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, are both trophy hunters and images of their African safari kills have angered conservationists and wildlife lovers.
SCI also influences U.S. government policies toward several African nations.
In 2010, SCI forced Namibia to reverse its ban on leopard and cheetah hunting. A similar scenario occurred in Zambia when the powerful lobby group persuaded the Zambian government to reverse its ban on hunting lions and leopards.
In September 2015, SCI and other pro-hunting organizations met behind closed doors with the South African Department of Environmental Affairs and representatives of other African nations in Polokwane to discuss the “benefits” of trophy hunting.
Journalists and non-hunting conservation groups were barred from the meeting, which generated suspicion as to the exact nature of SCI’s involvement with the Department of Environmental Affairs.
This week, as part of the online auctions, there will be two South Africa hunts valued at US$16,500 and US$15,000 each that offer to hunt wildlife with dogs. This controversial practice, known as “hounding,” sets dogs upon a wild animal, which is chased until exhausted, trapped, and easily shot.
These auctions can be seen here and here.
One auction from Watts Trophy Hunting offers an upgrade to kill an elephant and an African lion. Extremely high levels of poaching are already endangering both species and hunting them will only exacerbate the problem.
Most controversially, some of the auctions offer canned hunting – the cruel practice in which animals are hunted within a fenced area without any opportunity to escape.
Humane Society International is calling on South African citizens to oppose the callous killing of wildlife for entertainment by signing a pledge to end trophy hunting.