Immediately after Minister Kapata's press conference in August, many Zambian newspapers reported that Kapata had lifted "the ban on hunting" in Zambia. Media outlets around the world picked up the same unfortunate wording, along with several conservation and hunting organizations. As I explained in an Email Extra Bulletin we distributed on August 22, hunting was never banned in Zambia. Hunting there has continued in nine other concessions that were not up for reallocation, along with a number of fenced ranches and unfenced reserves. Trophies taken on those hunts are absolutely legal and importable. Although there were no problems with imports from 2013, recent reports that hunting was "banned" have the potential to confuse US wildlife officials who may choose to delay or even seize trophy imports. This is exactly what happened when a statement about hunting being "closed" in Botswana led US Fish & Wildlife agents to hold legally-taken plains game trophies from that country. If you hunted Zambia this season, make sure you have copies of your hunting license and permits available for your import agent to present to USFWS just in case. If you have any problems, immediately contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org; 305-253-5301) and John J. Jackson, III, at Conservation Force (email@example.com; 504-837-1233). I have already alerted the Professional Hunter Association of Zambia (PHAZ) about the possibility of problems, and they are prepared to work with ZAWA to get any necessary clarifications to USFWS.
As for the lifted suspension, the same day Kapata made her announcement I received an email from a subscriber telling me he heard the areas had been released to operators for hunting. As of this writing in mid-September that has not........(continued)