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50 Denv. J. Int'l L. & Pol'y 1 (2021-2022)

handle is hein.journals/denilp50 and id is 1 raw text is: BANNING IMPORTS OF HUNTING TROPHIES AND
PROTECTING ENDANGERED WILDLIFE
STEPHEN HERNICK*
INTRODUCTION
The infamous killing of Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe in 2015 ignited an inter-
national firestorm and debate about the ethics of trophy hunting endangered species.1
Proponents of the practice argue that it generates funds to support conservation and
creates incentives to protect animals.2 Critics of trophy hunting argue that these sup-
posed benefits are rarely realized, and, regardless of any indirect benefits, hunting
endangered animals for sport is morally indefensible and actively harms endangered
species.3 In the wake of Cecil's killing and the heightened attention and backlash
that followed, politicians introduced-and in some cases enacted-legislation or
regulations to restrict the imports of trophies from certain charismatic species
abroad. More than forty airlines-including Delta, United, and American-banned
the shipment of hunting trophies of Africa's Big Five or, in some cases, all hunting
*Stephen R. Hernick is Senior Attorney in the Wildlife Law Program of Friends of Animals in Centennial,
Colorado. With Friends of Animals, he litigates in federal courts to protect animals, including challenges
to the federal government's regulations allowing the imports of threatened and endangered wildlife. In
the interest of full candor, he is personally opposed to trophy hunting and to hunting in general. Prior to
working at Friends of Animals, he worked as a corporate litigator. He received his J.D. from Duke Uni-
versity Law School and his B.A. from Cornell University. The views expressed in this article are his own
and do not necessarily reflect the views of his employer. He would like to thank John Gallalee, a former
Friends of Animals intern, for his significant contributions to this article.
1. See, e.g., Christina Capecchi & Katie Rogers, Killer of Cecil the Lion Finds Out That He Is a
Target Now, of Internet Vigilantism, N.Y. TIMES (July 29, 2015), https://www.ny-
times.com/2015/07/30/us/cecil-the-lion-walter-palmer.html; Adam Vaughan, Killing of Cecil the Lion
Prompts Calls for EU Ban on Importing Lion Trophies, THE GUARDIAN (July 27, 2015),
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jul/27/killing-of-cecil-the-lion-prompts-call-for-eu-
ban-on-importing-lion-trophies.
2. See, e.g., Conservation Force, Role of Hunting to Conservation, https://www.conservation-
force.org/role-of-hunting.
3. See, e.g., Born Free Foundation, Trophy Hunting: Busting the Myths and Exposing the Cruelty
(July 2019), https://www.bornfree.org.uk/publications/busting-the-myths.

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