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Safari Club International Shot Down by GA Plenary

GA Plenary received a visitor Sunday, 20 November: Laird Hamberlin, CEO of Safari Club International (SCI). He spoke of SCI’s mission to protect the freedom of the hunt and to promote wildlife conservation to the Member States. Mr. Hamberlin briefly outlined the rules and regulations of hunting, assuring the Member States that they follow conservation statuses for species set by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Multiple Member States voiced their frustrations concerning the specifics of trophy hunting. 

Egypt inquired on how trophy hunting is beneficial if SCI is not hunting to use the animals. “Trophy hunting, when given proper regulation, can provide economic impact and provide monetary stability to those conservation areas.” Mr. Hamberlin responded, “Our organization donates millions and billions of dollars to the conservation.” 

Morocco, in another point of inquiry, asked how the SCI is different from illegal poachers who kill for fun despite their claims to value animals yet posting “pictures on Instagram and Twitter with you holding their dead bodies.” During formal session, Mr. Hamberlin chose not to comment, but during a follow-up interview on Monday, November 21, stated, “We [SCI] represent all hunters who understand that there is a difference between regulated hunting and poaching. Of course, our organization has decried any type of poaching and illegal hunting of any kind.”

In a final reflection during the follow-up interview, Mr. Hamberlin acknowledged that he “[understood] that some metropolitan thinking individuals may see our organization and immediately see that we engage in hunting, though regulated, it’s still unpopular.”

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