Killing lions for money to kill bears

Did Safari Club’s B.C. election cash come from infamous Vegas wildlife auction?

Call it “pay-to-slay” politics. Safari trips to kill exotic animals like lions and elephants may have helped raise cash aimed at influencing the upcoming B.C. election.

In February, Safari Club International held its annual convention and “wildlife auction” in Las Vegas. A few weeks later, the U.S.-based lobby group boasted on Facebook about a $60,000 donation to “prevent the NDP from getting elected and ending the hunt,” referring to the commercial trophy hunt for B.C. grizzly bears.

A well-oiled political machine

According to Humane Society International, SCI’s Las Vegas auction raised US $14.4 million in 2015 alone. The money explicitly funds campaigns to expand and promote trophy hunting (video below).

For example, in January SCI filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The group was fighting an Obama-era law protecting wolves from being killed while inside dens with their cubs. It also prohibited using aircraft to scout for grizzly bears, trapping bears with wire snares or luring bears with food.

Yesterday President Donald Trump repealed that law, which covered federal wildlife refuges in Alaska. Safari Club International claimed victory.

SCI also runs its own political action committee or “Super PAC,” boasting that SCI-PAC has helped elect 147 pro-trophy hunting politicians to Congress. One was Ryan Zinke, the Montana congressman tapped by the Trump administration to serve as Secretary of the Interior, overseeing hunting, wildlife and federal land management.

Zinke is described as a “hunting buddy” of Donald Trump Jr., who reportedly picked him for the position. Both Trump sons are avid trophy hunters and supporters of Safari Club International.

Extent of B.C. contributions unknown

SCI has refused requests by media to explain the B.C. election payment. Same goes for the Guide Outfitters Association of B.C., which appears to be the recipient of the $60,000 novelty cheque.

The original Facebook post has since been deleted.

It’s unclear how much money SCI has funnelled into B.C. politics over the years, or how the donation to GOABC will be used. The Guide Outfitters are frequent donors to Christy Clark, and lobby vigorously to maintain the commercial trophy hunt.

B.C. has no laws against foreign or corporate donations in politics, but does prohibit indirect contributions. If money is laundered through an intermediary and ends up in party coffers, the people responsible may face jail time.

Last week a special prosecutor was appointed to advise the RCMP on its ongoing investigation into political donations in British Columbia.

Undercover footage of the annual Las Vegas auction may be viewed here:

For daily articles and videos about B.C. politics, follow Dogwood on Facebook or Twitter.

10 Responses to “Killing lions for money to kill bears”

  1. Kathleen mahoney says:

    This photo is repulsive in so many ways.

  2. I don’t understand why people WANT to kill animals- I understand killing for food or protection of humans or livestock, but the idea of travelling long distances, especially to other countries, just to kill an animal, usually just for a trophy, with a high power rifle, at a ridiculously safe distance, and then, on top of everything, being proud of the accomplishment, just boggles my mind.

    • Andrew MacDonald says:

      Yeah I’m with you on that. I don’t get it. What is there to feel good about?

    • Lori Wheeler says:

      It’s disgusting! The Trump family are also uncompassionate idiots that would kill anything! But there is also no reason to kill livestock as we really don’t need it survival. Humans put livestock through hell for their own greed. We truly are the worst species on the planet 🙁

  3. G.J, Craig says:

    Stop the evil. Justice for Cecil will come in time.

  4. Sandra Mc Mahen says:

    What is wrong with those people?

  5. Vienna says:

    Pathetic behaviour. They need to grow a conscience.

  6. Marijke says:

    Discusting people with no respect for Life. Hope Karma will catch them real soon.

  7. Joe says:

    people who think that God chose them !and them alone !there a problem with their brain!. I don’t know how to get them to realize that we’re connected to these animals, and this planet. It’s sad that human beings are taught that the takers are winners, we all lose with these individuals!

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