“This organization supports trophy hunting, which both Al [Jardine] and I are emphatically opposed to,” Wilson wrote on Facebook. “There’s nothing we can do personally to stop the show, so please join us in signing the petition.”
Wilson linked out to a Change.org petition, which has gained nearly 80,000 signatures and boasts the header, “Wouldn’t it be nice if all the Beach Boys, stayed away from those who kill for fun?”
The petition is addressed to the Beach Boys’ manager, Elliott Lott, and states that those who sign it will pledge to stop buying Beach Boys music and merch and going to shows until the band withdraws from the SCI convention and “publicly state[s] their opposition to this sick ‘sport’ of killing animals for ‘fun.’”
In a statement, Love defended the Beach Boys’ decision to play the SCI convention, saying, “We look forward to a night of great music in Reno and, as always, support freedom of thought and expression as a fundamental tenet of our rights as Americans.” The convention will take place February 5th through 8th in Reno, Nevada. Other headliners include Donald Trump, Jr.
Wilson’s petition offers several details about trophy hunting and Safari Club International, calling the latter’s convention “the world’s biggest wildlife killing market.” An estimated 20,000 animals from protected species are killed each year for sport, per the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting, and many are sold at conventions like the SCI’s.
In addition to selling wildlife trophies and other items made from these animals, these conventions also feature organizations selling various hunting trips, including so-called “canned lion” hunts, where tame lions are essentially bred to be killed. Since 2000, the SCI has reportedly spent $140 million against laws looking to stymie trophy hunting.