By Glenn LeMunyon, DSC Washington Representative
The leadership of DSC flew up to Washington, D.C. on October 25, for a couple of days of legislative meetings and to host the 13th annual DSC Congressional Reception at Bullfeathers Restaurant on Capitol Hill. DSC President Amy Callender, CEO Corey Mason and DSC PAC Director Lance Phillips attended the day’s meetings in Washington as well as DSC Washington Representative, Glenn LeMunyon.
The DSC team had a great opportunity to present to Members of Congress the concerns of the day including pressing issues like the anti-hunting language contained in the fiscal year 2022 Interior Appropriations bill as passed by the House of Representatives.
We had a chance to drill down on the subject matter and were able to discuss with Members of Congress why the language is detrimental to the nations named. The legislation simply reads:
SEC. 436. None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to issue a permit for the import of a sport-hunted trophy of an elephant or lion taken in Tanzania, Zimbabwe, or Zambia. The limitation described in this section shall not apply in the case of the administration of a tax or tariff.
This language is based solely on emotion and not sound science. Our message to Members of Congress is that we should all refer to representatives of the millions of rural Africans in Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and Zambia. We should be listening to their urgent request for Congress to assist them in upholding their basic human rights in the face of misguided U.S. campaigns by animal protectionist organizations to undermine their livelihoods.
Over the last few years there have been increasing calls from animal rights activists in the U.S. to ban the import of trophies from Africa based on the mistaken belief that this will enhance the conservation of iconic African species. We know that nothing could be farther from the truth. Such a move will have devastating consequences for the livelihoods of the people of these three countries—as well as for conservation.
We were able to discuss these issues and more at the 13th annual Congressional Reception—better known as the “Beast Feast,” held at Bullfeathers Restaurant on Capitol Hill.
Attended by more than 30 Members of Congress, and dozens of Congressional staff, the event was a tremendous success. As usual, we had no less than nine different wild game items on the menu including quail, whitewing dove, pheasant, high fin blue catfish, venison, pig sausage, oryx, axis, and gator/crawfish boudin.
The raffle and silent auction proved to be successful too. Liz Williams again offered her expertise on this event and assisted in collecting raffle and auction items and making all the arrangements and invitations that went out to Members of Congress. We cannot thank enough our key sponsors of the event—the National Rifle Association and Koch Industries—whose participation helped make this event happen.