Trophies from legally hunted elephants in Zimbabwe and Zambia won't be allowed into the US - at least, not yet. He says sport hunting of the endangered species is "shameful" and calls for a permanent ban.
US President Donald Trump has reinstated a ban on trophy hunting amid a public uproar.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke released his own statement later Friday. "As a result, in a manner compliant with all applicable laws, rules and regulations, the issuing of permits is being put on hold as the decision is being removed".
After animal rights advocates and environmental groups criticized the decision, Trump said late Friday he was delaying the new policy until he can review "all conservation facts".
A provision of the Act allows governments to give permits to import such trophies if evidence exists that the slaughter of the animals benefits the conservation of that species, an argument a Trump administration official made citing new information from officials in the two African nations, according to ABC News.
"Elephants and other big game in Africa are blood currency for terrorist organizations, and they are being killed at an alarming rate".
Welsh boss Coleman to become Sunderland manager - Twitter reacts
Coleman was appointed Wales manager in extremely hard circumstances in January 2012 following the death of his great friend Gary Speed.
The department said the move was created to help conservation. The population in Zimbabwe was found to have declined 6 percent overall, but some regions in the country reported populations were down as much as 74 percent. "Furthermore, I am not convinced that elephant populations in the area warrant overconcentration measures".
Critics, however, note the restrictions were created by the Obama administration in 2014 because the African elephant population had dropped.
The Arizona-based Center for Biological Diversity, which advocates for animal rights, applauded the decision to reimpose the ban, but said more needed to be done.
On Friday, the administration put its decision on hold.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Thursday that it will allow the importation of body parts from African elephants shot for sport. "This is the kind of trade we don't need".