2600 Virginia Avenue, NW, Suite 100
Washington DC 20037
For release: July 22, 1997
For additional information:
George Getz, Deputy Director of Communications
Phone: (202) 333-0008 Ext. 222
E-Mail: 76214.3676@CompuServe.com

Libertarians demand: Congress should kill program
that subsidizes the slaughter of African elephants

        WASHINGTON, DC -- Hundreds of majestic African elephants are
being killed every year by trophy hunters -- and U.S. tax dollars are
helping to pay for the slaughter.

        "This is an outrage that must be stopped," said Steve Dasbach,
national chairman of the Libertarian Party. "Congress has already spent
millions to promote this wildlife butchery, and if we don't stop the
politicians, they're going to spend $21 million more."

        The U.S. House could decide as early as Tuesday whether to
continue funding CAMPFIRE -- a foreign aid program that funnels money
to Zimbabwe to promote big game hunting.

        The CAMPFIRE program (Communal Areas Management Program for
Indigenous Resources) subsidizes the hunting of elephants -- as well as
leopards, lions, baboons, hippos, and zebras.

        "Your tax dollars are being turned into the bullets that are
killing these magnificent animals," said Dasbach. "That's why the
Libertarian Party has joined with the Humane Society of the United
States to oppose the program -- and demand that CAMPFIRE be doused. We
need to stop the politicians before they kill again."

        Congress already has funneled $7 million into this program
through the U.S. Agency for International Development, and the agency
is now requesting $21 million more -- despite the fact that elephants
are considered an endangered species, and 29 African nations have
outlawed elephant hunting.

        The CAMPFIRE program uses American taxpayers' money to pay for
advertising to lure wealthy European "trophy" hunters to Zimbabwe,
where they spend up to $30,000 for a license to kill a bull elephant.

        "Critics of foreign aid, take note: Politicians are using your
tax money to persuade wealthy Europeans to go on an elephant-hunting
safari in Africa," Dasbach said. "How can they justify that? How can a
single American benefit from this?"

         In fact, a vast majority of Americans -- 84% -- oppose trophy
hunting because they believe it's cruel to the animal, according to a
nationwide poll taken last December by Penn & Sheehan.

        "And it's cruel to American taxpayers as well, because they're
forced to fund the killing of these animals with their tax dollars,"
said Dasbach.

        CAMPFIRE also spends hundreds of thousands of American dollars
every year lobbying to overturn the international ban on ivory sales,
and to remove African elephants from the list of endangered species.

        "Consider the irony," said Dasbach: "American environmentalists
are getting their tax dollars taken by politicians, who then spend it
to encourage the slaughter of an endangered species."

        The Libertarian Party's opposition to the CAMPFIRE program
doesn't mean that Libertarians are opposed to hunting, said Dasbach.

        "We are 100% in support of people's right to hunt. It's a
popular sport, and is frequently necessary to thin the herd and prevent
animal starvation," he said. "Individuals have every right to hunt on
their property, here or abroad. But they also have a right not to be
forced to subsidize someone else's hunting."

        Perhaps the most amazing thing about the taxpayer-financed
elephant massacre, Dasbach said, is that the CAMPFIRE program has been
supported by so-called environmentalists like Bill Clinton.

        "When will the environmental alarmists who wag their fingers
about spotted owls and tree frogs show some concern about the slaughter
of elephants that they are aiding and abetting in Africa?" he asked.

        "The CAMPFIRE program presents a perfect opportunity for the
president and Congress to do a little trophy hunting of their own: Hunt
down and kill this deplorable program -- and stop using U.S. taxpayers'
money to subsidize the slaughter of African elephants."

The Libertarian Party                                      http://www.lp.org/
2600 Virginia Ave. NW, Suite 100                          voice: 202-333-0008
Washington DC 20037                                         fax: 202-333-0072