tv House Natural Resources Subcommittee Hearing on Animal Trophy Hunting CSPAN July 23, 2019 8:04pm-9:24pm EDT
suspension of the rules, including one for programs for physicianal 2020 and another for tax changes for same sex couples. taking up several judicial nominations including the federal aviation administration, watch that on c-span 2 and c-span 3, special council robert mueller's testimony in its entirety and then at noon, the former special council will testify before the house intelligence committee. next a house panel considering a bill that would seek to limit imports trophies of endangered species into the united states. witnesses testified whether large animal trophy hunting benefited efforts and whether it could lead to an increase in poaching. this is an hour and 20 minutes.
the subcommittee on water oceans and wildlife will come to order and the meeting for testimony good morning, the subcommittee on water oceans and wildlife, hear testimony about hr 2245, the cecil act under committee rule 4f, statements limited to the chairman, ranking member and vice chair and vice ranking member, this helps us hear sooner and keep the schedule. therefore i ask unanimous consent that all member's opening statements be made part of the hearing record if they are submitted by 5 p.m. today or the close of the hearing whichever comes first. hearing no objection, it is so ordereded. one other bit of housekeeping. i'm told that votes are expected
in about 30 minutes. . one other bit of housekeeping. i'm told that votes are expected in about 30 minutes. we will resays for the votes. sometimes that's what we have to do. we will discuss international trophy hunting today. trophy hunting needless to say can be an incredibly devicive issue. for many americans it can be deeply disturbing seeing photos with hunters posing with animals, typically done by extremely wealthy individuals is different in character than the responsible sustainable hunting and angling traditions that are so widely embraced in our country. even within the sportsman community trophy hunting elicits
mixed feels especially for vulnerable and threatened animal species, yet that is the most ought after thrill for trophy hunters that pay five or six figures to skill animals like lions, they claim by paying those large amounts of moneys that ostensibly go towards conservation, they are helping the endangered animals they pay to kill. whether that actually works is debatable. it is something we will examine more closely today as we discuss chairman's bill, conserving ecosystems by ceasing the importation of large animal trophies act or cecil act. it is named for the lion killed in zimbabwe in 2014 by a trophy hunter. affecting imimportant licensing at the time they are proposed for listing under the endangered species act, this is to a rush
to hunt those species. it would require the fish and wildlife service go back and analyze whether trophy imports to the u.s. actually enhanced the conservation of the species in the country where they were hunted. this is the claim they make. so let's verify it and make sure the safeguards are in place before allowing importation of threatened and endangered trophies. if they want their hunts to support conservation, they should support this to make sure their community and u.s. wildlife officials are not being bamboozled by corrupt operators or relaxed practices in these countries. in addition to requiring these safeguards, the bill directs the gao to determine whether the trophy hunting actually contributes to wildlife contribution, it asks the gao for reformers of the industry. this is important to make sure our policy decisions are based on facts, not wishful
narratives. the need for at least some reforms seem obvious. right now the cost of the permit to import a threatened or endangered animal trophy is $100. that fee covers 8% of the cost of the permit program that the fish and wildlife service. the rest is subsidized, a gift from u.s. taxpayers to trophy hunters who can afford to pay tens or even hundreds of dollars to pay in other countries. the thrill to kill a lion and hanging it on their wall, most people would agree the taxpayers should not be subsidizing 92% of the cost. the cecil act would change that. of course in the current administration, the national rifle association call the shots on these matters. at the nra's bidding the trump association has made trophy hunting much easier without the appropriate oversight if you
actually cared about the species it invoked an obama era rule that stops the export of these and looks at them by a case-by-case basis. not only has the administration loosened protections, it also created a sham advisory committee, the so-called international wildlife conservation counsel whose commission explicitly promotes trophy hunting and has enthusiasts and trophy hunters. guess who isn't on the advisory committee. wildlife biologists. clearly the administration doesn't consider itself bound by the federal advisory committee act which requires that committees like this be "fairly balanced." in terms of the points of view
represented, not be inappropriately influenced by the appointing authority or special interest. the cecil act would eliminate the sham advisory committee, for those that say it promotes, let's say it does it right, with oversight to prevent corruption to communities and overall with conservation in mind. that in a nutshell is what the cecil act does. we have the responsibility to make sure that hunting is conducted in an honest, verifiable sustainable and ethical way. the cecil act takes steps in that direction. i will turn it over to the ranking member for his comments. >> thank you, mr. chairman. we need to talk about this to restrict animal trophies in an attempt to discourage trophy hunting. as we will hear from the nations directly affected.
the practical effect of the bill will remove incentives to preserve endangered species on the african continent. i have a -- to make. i'm not a hunter. this isn't a moral judgment. i don't understand stamp collecting either. it's not my thing and as a consumer i enjoy steak and hamburgers, but i could never slaughter a cow. we slaughter 39 million cows and calves in this country as well. they should be on the endangered species list because at this rate cows should be extinct by next year, yet we never run out of cows and calfs, because they have value. and that value provides the incentive to breed them and care for them. the danger comes when no one owns them, then everyone has a
perverse incentive to overuse them. in that case regulation becomes an important part of sustainability. too many taking of the species and they can become reng dangered, but too many can become overpopulation and brutal disease and my concern with this bill is it doesn't make these distinctions. i understand the passions behind it but as benjamin franklin warned, passion governs, but she never governs wisely. so in this case i wish we would pay attention to the governesses in zimbabwe and others because they highly depend on their economic development and revenues. they have every incentive to protect these populations and have extensive programs to do so. as they will tell us, regulated
trophy hunting is a central part of that equation and major source of the incentives and revenues they need to maintain these populations. if we collapse trophy hunting we destroy the very incentives and revenue that is underpin their conservation efforts. trophy hunting places a high value on these animals, insent vising landowners and governments necessary to provide this so they can be harvested. if we collapse trophy hunting there is no incentive to maintain these habitats. provides major rev knews to support the conservation programs. this would cut off that. trophy hunting is legal and regulated. insentis to combat illegal poaching are immense. illegal poaching is a direct threat to the commerce generated by legal hunting. if we collapse legal hunting, the incentive to combat illegal
poaching collapse with it. because trophy hunting is legal, it can be martyred and ensured sustainability for these of all time. if we make it illegal, we forfeit our ability to regulate this trade and instead give it to the underground market. at the same time we promote poaching as a more viable alternative to regulated and licensed takes. the colonial attitude toward africa has always been that we in the west know better than the african nations of what's good for them. on that basis, the american left sought to deny chief energy sources necessary to lift them out of poverty and on that basis it would catastrophic lit disrupt the african conservation practices that are contributing to a sustainable development of their natural resources. mr. chairman, listen to and respect the government of zimbabwe speaking for 23 other african nations that depend on
hunting for their economic development when that government tell us "progressive countries like united states are expected to play a leading role in promoting activities to benefit humanity wrather than enacting laws that will prejudice other countries like zimbabwe of good conservation practices. "when we do well in conserving wild wife we do not receive punishments from our trade partner, the usa, don't you think by promoting the cecil act which is based on unphilosophical idealogies," with that i would say the guest in the audience that is here representing the republican of nabia, who hold similar views that will be of the government of zimbabwe and colleagues, dean
of the house, great state of the alaska, as well as georgia, austin scott be allowed to participate in the hearing. >> without objection and welcome, sir, to our subcommittee. we will now beginning our testimony starting with the sponsor, chairman p rahalva. thank you for being here. >> thank you and good morning everyone. i appreciate this hearing very much and all the work that this committee, this subcommittee has done in terms of bringing up very, very good legislation and i appreciate your work and the work of the staff. you know, i was thinking because i called home after chairman to talk to my grandbabies about going to see lion king, you know, because that premiers tonight at midnight and i have
to tell you and your staff it's impeccable timing, by the way. and i said wait for me. i think we are going to get a break and we will go see the movie together. they wouldn't wait. and so i guess i'm going to see that one by myself. the lion king, beyonce or beehive, i mention that, mr. chairman because i think i may suggest that to the opponents of the cecil act like the nra that it would behoove them with this declining membership, with this brutal internal strike that's going on in litigation and with its declining revenue that on this particular issue the american people overwhelmingly support and even more so in the near
future that they tread lightly to the safari club international, one of their former principal lobbiest is the secretary of the interior, they tread lightly as well. we worked hard on this peas of legislation and invited the department of interior to testify on this bill. they declined the invitation. one can conjecture some reasons for that denial. but maybe it's a very rare quick occasion that i can say i agree with the guy that when the president called trophy hunting a horror show, maybe they disagree with that position. and perhaps nra and safari club international, their foundation, one of the biggest proponents felt it wasn't appropriate for interior to be here and give testimony to this committee.
when i first introduced the cecil act in 2013, at the time lions were only proposed to be listed on the endangered species track, so there was no policies in place to ban importation of lions to the united states. where lions are in trouble, our policies and regulations were lagging, to say the least. so that banned imports of species to be listed. that is the change while the rule is being finalized. in addition, after cecil, the publishing committee report minority at that time to ace the impacts of trophy hunting on efforts to threaten endangered wildlife in some countries. the report found while it was possible for the import to meet the endangered species act, the bar needs to be set higher. regulatory loopholes exist and
import fees are far too low and more needs to be done to ensure trophy hunting does benefit conservation. to say the least, and donald trump became the president, rather than taking those recommendations for any kind of consideration, it came to no surprise the administration put forth a number of new harmful policies. so we went back to the drafting table and the version of the cecil act and based on finding, the policy on trophy hunting are a problem we have seen from this foundation. they benefit the extremely rich to the detriment of most americans who care about wildlife. you know, if science has suddenly become an ideology, i
plead guilty. i know we all hear claims that trophy hunting benefits conservation. let me be clear. pulling the trigger i don't think equals conservation and if those folks claim trophy hunting can lead to positive conservation, okay. let's qualify and quantify what those outcomes are, including the political and scientific frameworks that make conservation successful. that's the core of the cecil act, simple as that. if we are going to do any trophy hunting, we have got to use the highest standard to ensure we are protecting threatened and endangered species. with that, thank you very much for the hearing, mr. chairman and i yield back. >> thank you, chairman. i will now introduce our witnesses for the panel today, our first witness is ms. iris hoe, wildlife program manager at the human society international. next we will hear from dr. craig
packer, professor and director of lion research at the university of minnesota. following him will be ms. elie pepper, deputy director of wildlife trade at the national resources council. next coming all the way from the university of queensland, we have dr. mucha macono. i hope i got that right. and then ms. catherine samser from the reserge center and finally the government of zimbabwe, we will hear from the technical advisor of the zimbabwe parks and management authority. let me remind all witnesses they must limit their oral statements to five minutes. when you begin your testimony, there will be a green light at the one minute point it will turn yellow to give you a cue that it's time to begin wrapping up and when your 5 minutes is expired there will be a red
light and i will ask you to conclude. don't worry if you can't get your entire statement in, your written statement will be of record. and with that, the chair now recommends ms. hofer, you are recognized for five minutes. >> thank you and good morning, chairman members. we represent the human society of united way. and humane society, thank you for the opportunity to testify in h 2245, is cecil act and go to chairman for introducing this legislation. four months ago this month cecil was lured out of the national park, shot by an american hunter by an arrow, suffering 10 agonizing hours before the hunter finish him off the next
day. adding insult to injury, two years later cecil's oldest son was also killed by a hunter not far from where cecil was killed. cecil was a loved international icon and generated revenues for the tourism industry. oxford industry studies and let's not forget those were -- while they attempted to quickly draw away from cecil's killer and circumstances surrounding it. cecil's and zana's kills epitomized the true trophy hunting industry, one that encourages killing rare animals, ignores science and fuels corruption and trafficking. not based on science, lack independence reviews. age limitations are not enforced. hunting regulations are flouted.
trophy hunters don't kill for conservation. they kill for bragging rights, for fun and for obtaining an animal trophy to display their conquest at home. there is irrefutable evidence that trophy evidence have contributed to decline and danger of extinction. and millions by trophy hunters have cascading effects by population ability and magnifies human conflict. when older elephants in bachelor groups where the male head of the lion pride are removed the males have become more aggressive, resulting in increased likelihood of intensified and starvation in lion prides, attacks from those to livestock, agriculture and humans. animals are not the only one
that lose in the trophy hunting enterprise. locals will pay pride if key walleye appear, such viewing safaris contribute much more sustainable and substantial than trophy hunting and they also generate more jobs. trophy hunting contribute to just 0.0% of the nagdp of the eight countries surveyed in 2017, supporting only 7,500 jobs. to put this in perspective, a recent report puts tourism supporting 24 million jobs, generating 48 billion of expenditures for african protective area, by killing majestic animals for a one-time trophy fee, hunting triples current and future tourism in industries and harming economic opportunity potential for the local communities. ed a few years ago i visited the chinese official urging his
government to ban the commercial trade in elephant ivory. he listened to me and smile and asked me how about you americans stop hunting elephants first. i was embarrassed. it is up to us to stop contributing to the problems we are trying to and demanding others to fix. billions of dollars of foreign aid to help the rules law and government while american trophy hunters bolter corruption. it is not just the survival of the species, but withstanding of the global leader. closer to home, trophy hunting is sustained by africans and americans alike. u.s. poll indicates 80% oppose importing lions and trophies into the u.s. and 80% was also
opposed. young africans shared their sentiments where one person once commented to me when foreign hunters leaf, africa is left with empty forests and bones. dear committee members, this is not a partisan issue. it is time we rid the united states of the disgraceful reputation of the world's most prolific trophy hunters. thank you again for the opportunity to testify and opportunity to answer any questions you might have. >> thank you, the chair now recognizes dr. packer for 5 minutes. >> chairman huff man, ranking member and distinguishing members of the subcommittee. thank you for inviting me to participate in the today's hearing. it is a great honor to appear before you to share my experience of the lion center. i have worked for 40 years and led to changes in wildlife policy that imposed an age
minimum for lion trophies in buck swan na, tans niania and zimbabwe and asked to measure the impacts of lion uptakes. i got most of the data of lion day that that led to the red list, and add vised to add to endangered. purview of the sport hunting industry, however, there continues to be a dramatic loss of wildlife across the continent. while sport hunting, have not succeeded in protecting lions,
giraffe, cheetah, all of which have suffered losses in the past 30 years. this is not to say that sport hunting should be banned. it is in desperate need of reform. sport hunting demonstratable in providing wildlife in zimbabwe, batswana in 2013 was ill advised and has been reversed. but in mozanbique and tansnia poorly managed and as much as a half of the hunting blocks remain unclaimed with the risk that this land will be removed from the wildlife estate has there is no return to sport hunt not guilty these areas. the reliance of sport hunting is a lack of reand sustainable revenues. the cost of what effective lion
conservation are between 1 and 2,000 dollars square hunting per year where trophy hunting is less than 25,000 per animal and a hunter only pays if its hunt was successful. thus tans nia, for example, needs to raise 300,000 a year in hunting revenue that is go to the government to cover the operation cost of conserving their hunting blocks. yet fewer than 1,000 lions every year and half a billion every year. the fees for all the most important trophy species like lions, buffalos should be increased as much as six fold even come close to curbing the cost of protecting their natural habitat. while sport hunting has indeed provided some much needed funding to cob serve a few selected areas, it is not enough
to protect vast wildlife habitat. about a million square miles exist across africa, but more and more hunting blocks are lying unclaimed and the growing demands of a rapidly growing human population will be overwhelming by 2050, densities in sub-saharan africa will be the same as in india today. similarly opponents of sport hunting have offered no alternative mechanism to raising the necessary funding to protect these areas. your approaches are urgently needed. as to the specifics, hr 2245 several aspects of the bill make good sense, the transparency and impacts of sport hunting are overdue and should be welcomed by conservationists and sport hunters alike. however, i have concerns about section 3.4, which may not allow
the possibility of reform in tansnia. these countries could lose more wildlife habitat. the u.s. government has few levers to pull and a permanent ban will eliminate one of them. we need to work together to protect these species and their habitat. with that, i thank you very much. thank you dr. packer. the chair recognizes ms. pepper for 5 minutes. thank you for the opportunity to testify today on the cecil act. my name is elie pepper and i'm the director of the national wildlife conservation for the national defense counselor, rdc is a national with 3 million he bes working to protect the world's natural resources public health environment. it is needed and long overdue. wildlife was seemingly plentiful. today we know from sources from
the recently released reports they face extinction. one of the top drivers is direct exploitation which includes the trophy act and the wildlife trades. species threatened with extinction is ludicrous. the crisis, created an advisory committee and strike at the heart of the fish and wildlife services commission to conserve, protect and enhance wildlife. the wildlife conservation counsel or iwcc was to advise the secretary solely on the benefits of hunting. recommend ways to reduce protection for international species under the international species act no matter the circumstances, undermining the congressional mandate and base
conservations on science. the iwcc's prohunting mission, americans care deeply about wildlife has showed by the public outcry when cecil was killed and removed imports from zimbabwe and 75% of hunters oppose trophy hunting. interior department rejected in favor of 18 advocates for trophy hunting, firearms and for example 8 council members are connected to groups and firearms and n ra, one is a registered n ra lobbyists, despite the
commission. hunting interests on the counsel. john jackson participated in a council discussion on lifting the suspension of tans knee yan lion imports even though. they have not provided the required 15-day notice. prevented members of the must be from addressing the committee and failed to produce documents prior to the meets. they have also met in secret. to top it off, it is illegal under the act, which is why we sued to end it. it is enacted to curb the reliance on the secret advisory committees which special interests were used to drive decision-making outside public scrutiny. it requires it to be in the public interest and structured to avoid inappropriate interest. they must also make their meets
public. as explained the iwcc flagrantly violates these requirements. issuing an executive order to terminate at least one-third of situations where the cost exceeds the benefits. the budget of $250,000 per year far outweigh its benefits which is precisely zero. this sham counsel has existed for 18 months but has yet to produce a significant recommendation at least none that has been disclosed to the public. we would encourage to disband the iwcc immediately. thank you. . >> chairman hoffman, ladies and gentlemen. thank you for the opportunity to talk to you on the subject which has significant implications for the -- ach ka, many of which are
now threatened with extinction. to illustrate, a search rig ago there were more than 200,000 lions in the african wild. the number has fallen to 20,000, a reduction of 90% in that short space of time. clearly something is not working. trophy hunting has not helped the declining populations. about three years ago -- one park before he was skilled by arthur palmer on july 2015. i was heartbroken to learn the only sixth surviving rhino had been moved to a guided conservancy, there were none left, zero. how could this be the case when it was supposed to be working
for conservation of endangered species. what we have always known, the trophy hunting system is corrupt. the money ends up in the pockets of a powerful few. very, very little is to conservation. the trophy hunting is a rich boy's club that is little benefit to wildlife and local, rural communities. a 2013 report by economiesed a large reveal communities receive only about 3% of the gross revenue from trophy hunting. during my -- when i was talking to people in the rural district, they reported no more than $3 per household in income per year from the proceeds of hunting. in a few cases hunting revenues funded the pages -- or the dream of -- but such cases are
exception, certainly not the norm. and even then the benefits are token, to put it mildly and the surrounding communitying continue to live in abject poverty, despite decades of state sanctioned hunting happening in their vicinity. it is incumbent on all of us who care about these majestic animals, lions, elephants and others to demand from the relevant authorities, i believe the cecil act will help to send this message clearly. these beautiful animals are worth more alive than dead. i think of all the tourists who would have enjoyed seeing the charismatic cecil in park this day had his life not been cut short. he should have had the opportunity to thrive for many more years and sire more offspring as nature intended. if he should be killed in the
name of conservation, there must be clear and evidence that it goes to what is tangible conservation outcomes. i regret very much the recent decision by the president vaswana by predecessor, we know that they flaunt the code of conduct and use baits to get them out, the required age threshold. not always due to great corruption. and when they are caught doing the wrong thing, go free for many reasons. i push throw the image of conservation is not of a proud hunter next to his trophy, a dead rhino or lion or giraffe. the organization who are working
day and night to protect animals from poaching. organizations that fund wildlife usage and ranges and ensuring animals access water when in drought and communities interested people with wildlife and working to ensure that wildlife are restored. that i submit to you is conservation. moving away from hunting and economic benefit from nonconsumptive wildlife approaches and culturing -- majestic animals. when visiting africa, bring a camera, not take gun. thank you. i look forward to your questions. >> thank you doctor. >> you are recognized for five minutes. >> mr. chairman, ranking member ma cling tock and members of the
subcommittee. thank you for the opportunity to testify. i am a research fellow with the property and environment research center. conservation research institute based in bosam montana. the park has a history of market to consequence vicing challenges. many african states trophy hunting has shown to be a market based tool to raise revenue and incentives for wildlife conservation. recognized bid agencies and institutions including the wildlife fish and wildlife, world bank and the international union for conservation of nature. african nations practice while improving the lives and livelihood of real people in a way that reduces foreign aid and
philanthropy and foreign policy goal of african economies that thrive and prosper and control their own destinies. certain hunting trophies have had negative consequences of the shared goals of the united states and african partners and such bans having these negative consequences metastasize over a significantly wider area especially if no viable alternatives to trophy hunt religion provided. for these reasons congress should avoid taking any action that would undermine the ability of america's african partners to utilize trophy hunting asking part of their conservation programs. africa is one of the world's fastest growing regions, by 2015 africa has half the world's population growth and predicted to be the birthplace of one out of every 3 people. sub sa heart ran africa has the world bank forecast k gdp growth
of 3.4% this year and 3.7% in 2020 and 2021. african middle class is anticipated to grow from 245 million to 380 million over the next decade. the rise of the continent's middle class will be integrated with increased urbanization with populations exceeding 5 million, expected to triple to 17 in the same 10 years. african economies should grow and prosper. however, increased demands for goods, services, and infrastructure will undoubted by accompany this, with likely stress on african ecosystem. this stress is already being witnessed with infrastructure development in national parks and other conservation areas in kenya, guinea and tansnia, even in national parks where photo tourism is dominant wildlife use can no longer be taken as it was.
this is front and center in the policy process and the policies of the united states should seek to maximize barriers in africa, capable of making conservation economically comparative. demonstrated track record of making wildlife habitat in competitive land and conventing to agriculture. they preserve nearly 315 million acres of habitat, the total area of sub-sahara's national parks by 22%. the areas conserved are marginal and lacks the possibility to be economic viable. trophy hunting programs provide economic incentives by a revenue sharing programs by rural and indigenous remedies based on
entrepreneur ship and increases in food security and species such as the southern white rhino and african white elephant in places like africa and zimbabwe, negative consequences of the ban of trophies into the united states were met with severe negative consequences including reported national level wildlife declines as much as 80% and dissolution of anti-poaching controls with trophy hunting revenues, the increased barrierers with the cecil act that will place on markets will only be combpted to allow these kind of negative impacts to increase and expand in scale and intensity. for this reason the cecil act as written will likely fail its shared goals of the united states and partners and we reck congress pursue an alternative policy course. thank you . . >> thank you. clair recognizes dr. gandiwa for
5 minutes. >> thank you chair and thank you for inviting zimbabwe to give its perspectives on this bill. the government of zimbabwe are happy to give its view and it depends on this leading idea of those that are presumably in conservation theory and in practice. zimbabwe has the second largest population of african elephant in the world and growing population of african lion, which is african echo system. conservation efforts in an area more than 26% of the area protected area, which is mandated for wildlife, not funded
with some conservation policies contained and the issues, it is introducing we should have wildlife and it is an impediment for the agenda. for the legal benefits of wildlife and our program. elephants and lions and other wildlife species are important ecological, cultural, for rural africa. from southern africa this contributes and the government of zimbabwe is desired is to grow the wildlife economy.
with our country and in africa it has never been the case. the united states of america and the support of hunting community in the usa has never been a colonial power in zimbabwe. there is no truth in those utterances. however it leaves a lot to be desired if it is really, we are aware by those are not making any meaningful contribution to lands in zimbabwe having millions of dollars for themselves. for the local people it was just an ordinary adult lien. it is not in our culture in zimbabwe anyway to give names to wildlife. and quantifying them like
human beings. it is actually the other way around. because we believe in totems. under the trade of these species, the species concerned should be the best protectors of wildlife and well managed and sustainable trophy hunting and conservation provides opportunities for rural communities and incentives for conservation and the benefits that can be for conservation purposes, the way the value can be attached to wildlife in a controlled system is implemented.
the conservation and sustainable use results. our people should benefit from wildlife through utilization and tourism. this is not a one-size-fits- all approach. there are limitations to what tourism can offer. we strongly believe in a holistic approach to conservation of this iconic species and trust that there should be options at our disposal and much-needed revenue.. >> i will ask you to please wrap up. >> thank you. we need to secure habitats outside the protected areas. seizing large animal trophies from zimbabwe will not contribute any way to the conservation of the ecosystem. it is completely out of touch with the realities of the sustainable conservation. we met we will have to leave
it at that. you will have more opportunity to elaborate in the question portion and your full written statement will be made part of the record. i now recognize myself for five minutes. i enjoy the ranking members opening statement. it was very thoughtful but i found myself pushing back to one part of this and that was this notion that the answer to concerns about extinction and wildlife conservation is the simple notion of assigning a value to the consumption or killing of a particular species. i think at best that is a double edge sword. i immediately think about the times when value existed in a big way for the consumption or killing of certain animals and things didn't go so well. i think about the market hunters at the turn of the previous entry who certainly saw the value in killing migratory birds but that is what forced us to organize the
modern conservation movement as teddy roosevelt and others realized we were on a path to extinction. many iconic species we have learned that lesson over and over again that value plus greed or corruption or lack of enforceable rules or institutions that we can count on is really a road to disaster whether it is shark finning, or market hunters and migratory birds or some of the iconic endangered and threatened animals we are talking about here today. i want to start by talking about this idea of dollar value and conservation. some of these animals, the value seems a little low that has been assigned to trophy hunters when you consider the conservation status, the sheer cost of maintaining some of these wildlife refugees with very little support from government. let me invite you to speak about this. are the fees trophy hunters currently pay enough to
justify killing the animals and can you elaborate, if we are relying on this tool of valuing the consumption or killing, what is a realistic value? >> thank you chairman, that is an excellent question and i am forever amazed at how low the trophy fees are for lions. in zambia, the trophy fee for a lion is left less than $12,000. and i know that in north america in some of our states we have hunting tickets for bighorn sheep, those prices are five far higher and that is for sheep. for lions they are about as rare now as rhino. the reason for the price being so extraordinary low is to some extent a legacy -- in some countries the wildlife authorities are meant to be regulating the industry but
the local cultural would say the industry is regulating the countries wildlife authority. so, partly there has been competition between countries. if tanzania threatens to raise its hunting fees to 25,000 hunters will say oh no, botswana prices are lower. that is part of it, it is competition between countries and the history of very close ties between the industry and regulators that are meant to get the money for the country and it often doesn't go to the country but the regulator as an individual instead. the other problem in particular for lions is the can hunting industry in south africa. because it is easy to farm a lion if you have private property and access, you get horse meat and leftover beef that is not suitable for human consumption and you don't have to pay those costss. you don't have to pay for an anti-poaching crew or for
community relationships. so there are literally factory farming of lions. and that price is known to the hunting public. an individual that is going to decide where we are going on our hunting safari, if all they are interested in the trophy per se -- >> there was other types of value, the other types of value cecil the lion had to come and see it over and over again. the value was extinguished with the killing of that particular animal, correct? >> the truest value for the non-consumptive side certainly is never calculated in that at all. >> miss pepper i want to ask you about this controversial advisory committee the administration has set up. is there enough peer review data and scientific evidence to legally justify having an advisory committee whose mission it is to promote trophy hunting? and how would having wildlife biologist on this committee improve the current dialogue?
>> no, i don't think there is enough peer review data being looked at by the council. i think the presence of the conservation biologist on the council would improve the dialogue. it would create informed science-based contribution that would allow objective decision-making regarding whether any killing of the species is sustainable. they are trained to look at reproduction and climate change and habitat loss on the species and make a decision about whether offtake is sustainable based on those factors which really stands in stark contrast to the current council members who can't make objective decisions because they have a direct financial interest. >> i'm sorry i didn't alone of time to ido justice for the subject. i am out of time and i will now recognize the ranking member for five minutes.
>> miss pepper, how long have you lived in zimbabwe? >> zero years. >> neither have i. >> doctor gandiwa, you have lived in zimbabwe pretty much her whole life, correct? >> that's correct. >> you have a phd in paleontology, is that correct? >> that is correct. >> i have your cv here. 16 pages long filled with hundreds of peer-reviewed articles and scientific presentations on conservation of these animals, is that a semi-complete list anyway? >> it is not the complete list. >> i'm kind of curious as to how you feel having this panel of so-called expert lecture you over what is in your country's best interest. >> thank you. it feels very distasteful because there is a very clear
distinction between someone who has lived in the area and been part of the social ecological system basis someone who just visits an area to do a study. their depth of understanding of the issues of what is working is certainly the difference and i can only reflect that also to the effect that when you see those countries who are very restrictive on sustainable utilization in central and east africa, it crashed. you look at southern africa and zimbabwe in particular, the reason why our populations are doing so well is the principal and our philosophy of conservation. >> that can't possibly be right because we were just told that your entire approach is completely unscientific, it is motivated by greed, corruption, and bloodlust. >> i could say our systems
like anywhere else are not perfect. but certainly this bill is not answering, it is not related to the challenges that we might be facing at hand. and it is rhetoric that our policy decisions should be involved by science. and there is nothing that we can demonstrate to you here, i brought with me documents demonstrating what trophy hunting is contributing to conservation in zimbabwe. >> in addition to your extensive scientific ground, you must be one of the leading experts on this. i'm just looking at the volume of work you produced during your career so far, you are also the executive technical advisor for the zimbabwe parks and wildlife management authority and have come here today to speak on behalf of the government and people of zimbabwe. i am just wondering in the
final two minutes i have, can you tell us this bill is adopted into law, what does that do to zimbabwe, its economyro as well as its abilit to protect its natural resources? >> thank you very much. what this bill will do is it will certainly give us an inability to implement our fantastic management plan for elephant that i have with me here. it will jeopardize our efforts to implement our natural resources management program that i have brought with me here and it will also compromise implementing our strategic five-year strategic plan through 2023 that i brought with me here as evidence to the committee and even our lion strategic management plan that i
brought with me here. all of these efforts because they are funded, we will have huge shortfalls in our conservation framework and also doing area studies that people are very curious to know how many we have, that is an example of an area for the pathway and a ballooning population last year. when we ask for resources we don't get them. when you want to utilize our resources, they don't fetch a price, so what do we do? where do we get the resources to do effective management? it will really jeopardize all the investment that the american people did. >> you are shaking my confidence in the fact that we know so much better how to manage your countries affairs than .you do. let me just ask one more question. if any of these species, african lions, african elephants were hunted to
extinction, would that be devastating to your country? >> that would be devastating. >> my point is no one has a greater incentive to preserve the habitats and the populations of these animals than the people and government of zimbabwe, correct? >> that's correct. >> the chair now recognizes chairman grijalva for five minutes. >> ms. mkono, how much of a role does the u.s. play in global trophy hunting and the law we are discussing today, the cecil law? what is the united states responsibility to pass laws like that? like this he select? >> my understanding is that the united states is in the top five countries where hunters come from and my understanding also is that
along with countries like australia, france, and the like , actions taken by the united states have very persuasive significance for how the world engages with this debate. as you might know, australia has already moved to ban lion trophies. francis done the same and neville and netherlands have done the same. countries that are kindred spirits to the united states have already stopped the implication of lion trophies because the data does demonstrate that our numbers have drastically fallen. my view is that the united states should follow suit to what has been done by countries that have similar values. >> thank you. >> ms. can you explain the key
differences between importing animal trophies on a nation by nation basis rather than a case-by-case asis as the administration has decided? what are some of the consequences to that and also a as part of that, with this new method the demonstration, is there enough transparency for the public to tell whether a species is cbeing preserved or not? >> well he can appreciate some of the merits of a case-by- case approach, i think it might be problematic in the sense that it might result in arbitrary decisions as opposed to decisions that have consistency to them where united states citizens and the world at large has a clear sense of what the position of the united it is.
my theory that case-by-case approaches in effect well tend to produce very arbitrary actions. >> thank you chairman grijalva for the question. i agree with doctor mkono that since march 1 2018, they have decided trophy import decisions on a case-by-case basis and essentially they are making these important conservation decisions behind closed doors shielding the public from any opportunity to provide input including that from independent scientists. and these decisions as i said in my earlier testimony are of great interest to the majority of the american public. 80% of them including republicans and democrats oppose the importation of
lions and hunting trophies. it is within the agencies statutory duties and also legal obligations under the esa as well as freedom of information act to provide real-time information on the applications, permits, and also findings to ensure that these decisions are based on science , our comprehensive and also include the public input including that of independent scientists. >> doctor parker, whatever time i have left can you comment on the role that corruption plays? and we have her twice today that it plays in the management of trophy hunting species? >> corruption has been implicated both in the field or hunters are often out
trying to obtain a trophy and it might not be the most beautiful specimen so there may be a better estimate that is found later in the second animal is shot on the same license. the animal shot may not be reported accurately. those things happen in the field. and there are currently supposed to be limits on the age that a lion can be shot. if it is too young that would be too disruptive to the population. there is no way of knowing whether there's any kind of payments being made to allow underage animals to get through. the bigger issue has been block allocation in the past so friends of people in the government are able to get access to hunting blocks at a very low price which is why everything is underfunded. there hasn't been adequate financial reserves and obtaining that much money to cover the true cost of
conserving. >> thank you doctor. we will have to leave it there. the chair will go to mr. graves for what will probably be our final questioning. we will then recess and we will be unlikely to adjourn frankly because these are the last votes of the day and i don't think we will get members back. we will just adjourn after mr. graves. before we do that i would like to request unanimous consent. i don't mean to be too provocative about this but in light of the questioning with the witness from the questioning of the witness from zimbabwe, i want to have a report from transparency international which examined corruption in 180 countries. that report shows zimbabwe near the bottom in terms of the corruption index so i will ask unanimous consent to enter that in the record. >> i would like unanimous consent, of zimbabwe calling on the united states that
imports would have on their wildlife conservation goals and local organizations expressing severe concern with the ban on trophy imports and exports and what the bill would have on their communities. in opposition of legislation of conservation groups including the association of fish and itwildlife agencies an the theodore roosevelt conservation partners and many others. a letter addressed that the bill is not based on meaningful and equitable conservation. and other support documents that support the conservation benefits. >> with that objection you should do those disclaimers at the end of pharmaceutical advertisements. and one more unanimous consent7 , unanimous consent to enter into the records a tweet by president trump dated november 19, 2017 which characterizes trophy hunting of elephants
and other animals as a "horror show". we will now recognize mr. graves for five minutes. >> thank you, i want to thank you all for being here particularly doctor mkono and ms. gandiwa. i appreciate the sacrifice you y made today. just a quick yes or no, if this bill were to become law would it stop hunting in your country? >> it will not stop hunting in my country. >> thank you. a few questions, you note in your testimony that the population of africa is expected to surge and i think you said nearly 1/2 of the world population growth will occur on the african continent over the next 30 years.
these areas regardless of your perspective of what actually happens in regard to the hunting or not hunting, this is conserving land and without r these facilities being there, i expect with population growth there's threat of development of these areas, would you agree? >> i would agree and i think we are already starting to see that happen in national parks in tanzania and ghana. >> destroying habitat, destroying habitat. these nations that are subjected to the bill, zimbabwe, tanzania, and zambia, as well as the u.s., they are signatories, correct? >> they are. under the obligations of the convention what obligation do member states have to have dialogue with one another related to actions that a
signatory country may take that would adversely affect the conservation objectives of others? does the question make sense? >> it does. i'm not an attorney so i can be happy to get you something and riding. but it does require a multilateral agreement that parties do consult with one another. and i think we have to ask the question of what value is added bureaucracy in the united states above and beyond the process. if it does provide value, what is the value of the united states second guessing the african partners who are also partners? >> mr. chairman we established that the bill will not result in the elimination of hunting and i would argue that if this bill were to become law and if every other country e were to enact similar laws, then you will not have hunting being stopped.
you will probably increase illegal hunting or coaching that would occur to some degree. i think we have to be very careful at looking at the revenue that is generated under this program, under the hunting programs. and look at the fact that the revenue that is generated actually is invested back into the campfire program and other programs that benefit the species, the benefit the community and also help to address the population health and management of the species. mr. chairman, you and i have had great dialogue on other species at they have been fantastic. i think it is important that we recognize, i am not a big game hunter, but it is a management tool in this case that actually adds to ol conservation activities. i can't wait you have to say. he met the gentlemen's questions adjusted that you thought perhaps the objective of the bill to ban hunting in
these countries and i want to clarify, it is not. it doesn't try to ban hunting at all. it is not news that it would not and hunting. >> sure, thank you. reclaiming time, i understand that you could make that suggestion but i think that ultimately it would have a substantial impact on the industry on the activities there which then does have a substantial impact on the objective of the campfire program, on conservation activities and on population health. let's be clear, if this program is run properly and i take note coming from louisiana it is important to note that every country and state can't be quite as ethical and progressive as we are,, details mr. chairman. mac how many governors are in prison? >> details mr. chairman. he is out of prison, he's been released. i'm offended. it is important to note that this does provide resources fort
the conservation managers for resource managers to invest back into population programs back into the economy that does lift the lives of many citizens of the country. ms. gandiwa can you talk about the campfire program and a little bit about what would happen if these activities were steeped in your country? >> the communal areas management program, campfire from zimbabwe the program would be negatively impacted and it would be really unfortunate because the american people contributed significantly in the establishment of this flagship initiative and from the 5 million in granting revenues, 2 million actually goes to local communities and i have a document with me here which will show you what exactly
specific activities and initiatives will be affected and we will risk losing wildlife habitats, probably the greatest amount of wildlife habitat is in communal areas. and what benefit would be there for local communities to conserve wildlife habitat when the economic value of such wildlife that is running free and wild in their areas is removed. >> thank you for your time, we have to leave it at that. >> mr. chair, i want consent to include the document she referenced in the record to help us see the benefits. >> with that objection, we will do it. always good to have mr. graves give the final word. with that, this hearing is now wrapping up. i want to thank the witnesses for their valuable testimony. thank the members for their questions. the members of the committee may have additional questions for some of you and we will ask you to respond to those in riding under the committee rules, members of the
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