In January, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service imposed new rules that require all those who wish to import lions legally hunted in Africa to apply for and obtain import permits in order to bring their lions into the U.S. The permit requirement applies only to lions hunted on or after January 23, 2016. To our knowledge, the FWS has not yet issued any permits and for that reason the permit requirements, at least for the present, appear to be acting like a complete ban on lion importation.
SCI and SCIF are researching the impact of the FWS’s new permit requirement. SCI and SCIF have been asked by the government of the United Kingdom to provide information to help the UK decide whether to impose a total ban on importation of African lion trophies into the UK by the end of 2017. One of the questions the UK government is asking is whether there is evidence of the impact of increased regulation (such as in the United States) on lion hunting. To help us determine the impact, we need your help.
If you applied for a permit to import a lion into the U.S., we want to hear from you. Please let us know whether your permit is for a lion that you have already taken or for a lion hunt in the future. Also, please let us know from which country you have or intend to take a lion. If you have received a response to your permit application, please share what the FWS provided in that response. Finally, please tell us if you cancelled a lion hunt as a result of the listing of lions and permit requirement imposed by the FWS.
Please provide this information at your earliest opportunity to Matt Lewis, at firstname.lastname@example.org.