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For Immediate Release: 07/23/14

Born Free USA Applauds Government Action to Protect Elephants from Zimbabwe Hunting Industry

Washington, D.C. -- Today, Born Free USA applauded the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to maintain the suspension of elephant trophy imports from Zimbabwe. African elephants are being slaughtered at a rate of between 35,000 and 50,000 per year across the continent, and Born Free USA believes that all elephant killing must stop.

In a statement, Born Free USA’s CEO, Adam M. Roberts, said, “It is quite clear that the United States government is regaining its status as a global conservation leader with the work of the Obama administration this year on wildlife trafficking. Today’s decision shows that the government is willing to take further steps to ensure that Africa’s elephants are safe for future generations. Our recent report, Ivory's Curse, unequivocally shows that Zimbabwe is either unable or unwilling to control the illegal trade in elephant ivory, and that the country’s leaders may be complicit in this wildlife trafficking, as well. As long as this is the case, and as long as elephants are dying to satisfy global demand, no elephant ivory from Zimbabwe should enter the United States.”

Born Free USA further encourages the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to critically evaluate other examples of unsustainable trophy hunting practices, including, for instance, lions in Tanzania and rhinoceroses in Namibia, to ensure that the U.S. takes no action that is detrimental to the survival of threatened and endangered species in the wild.

Born Free USA is a nationally recognized leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic “pets,” trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to North America the message of “compassionate conservation” — the vision of the United Kingdom-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film Born Free, along with their son, Will Travers. Born Free USA’s mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally. More at www.bornfreeusa.org, www.twitter.com/bornfreeusa, and www.facebook.com/bornfreeusa.

Media contact: Rodi Rosensweig, publicrelations@bornfreeusa.org, (203) 270-8929.

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