Breaking! U.S. House Of Representatives Approves Amendment To Ban The Importation of Endangered African Lions & Elephants By Trophy Hunters
The U.S. House has approved an amendment by Rep. Vern Buchanan to protect endangered African lions and elephants by banning the importation of their dead carcasses into the United States to be mounted as trophies. Buchanan’s amendment passed the House yesterday by a vote of 239 to 192. The amendment now must pass the Senate and be signed by President Trump.
“These magnificent creatures are on the verge of extinction,” Buchanan, a leader in Congress on protecting endangered species, said in a statement. “The last thing we should be doing is making it easy to slaughter these animals and bring their stuffed heads back into the U.S. as ‘trophies.’ Once a species is extinct, it is gone forever.”
Buchanan’s measure prohibits the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from issuing importation permits from Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Tanzania; three countries that unfathomably still encourage trophy hunting.
This amendment follows a 2017 Interior Department decision to allow the importation. At the time, Buchanan also urged President Trump to reject the Interior secretary’s decision to lift a ban on allowing African lion trophies to be brought into the United States.
“The House took an important step towards banning the import of elephant and lion trophies,” continued Buchanan. “The taxpayers should not have to pay a single dollar to enable this activity. Protecting animals at home and abroad is an overwhelmingly bipartisan cause.”
Buchanan submitted his amendment to the latest sweeping government funding bill.
More than 30,000 elephants, one every 15 minutes, are slaughtered for their tusks every year. Something a majority of Americans, who disapprove of big game hunting, find reprehensible.
“Americans invest more tourism dollars in wildlife viewing safaris in Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Tanzania than in the trophy hunting of lions and elephants. These iconic species are being threatened by continued poaching, habitat loss, and other human-caused mortalities. Trophy hunting exacerbates these threats, pushing these magnificent animals closer to extinction,” said Sara Amundson, President of the Humane Society Legislative Fund. “That’s why we applaud Rep. Buchanan for championing a more humane future through an amendment to restrict the import of lion and elephant trophies from these countries. As the United States is the world’s largest importer of animal trophies, our efforts to alleviate the additional pressure trophy hunting puts on these species is critical.”
Cathy Liss, President of the Animal Welfare Institute also pointed to the fact that there is no credible scientific evidence that legal hunting enhances conservation.
“The revenue generated by trophy hunts often fails to provide any meaningful income to impoverished locals. Rather, these hunts usually funnel money into the hands of a select few without improving protections for hunted wildlife populations.” stated Liss. “No species that faces extinction should be further victimized by someone looking to hang a head on a wall.”
WAN will continue to update this breaking news story.
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