Friends Of Animals Calls On The State Of New York To Ban Trophy Imports Of Endangered Species

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New York State is the largest port of entry for the importation of wildlife “trophies” in the United States. It is about time that they take steps towards ending this cruel industry and support legislation before the General Assembly.

From 2005 to 2014, 159,144 animals were reportedly imported into New York as “trophies,” including: 1,541 lions, 1,130 elephants and 83 pairs of tusks, 1,169 leopards, 110 white rhinos, and three pairs of horns.

“The only difference between ‘illegal’ poachers and trophy hunters with permits is wealth and political connections,” President of Friends of Animals (FoA), Priscilla Feral, said in a statement. “It is time for New York to end an industry that is contributing to the rapid decline of Africa’s most persecuted and beloved species.”

Last year, the New York State Senate passed the Big 5 African Trophies Act’ that would ban the importation, possession, sale or transportation of: African lions, leopards, elephants, and black and white rhino “trophies” and their body parts throughout New York; all which are threatened and endangered species.

New York City Councilman Keith Powers has introduced a resolution supporting the state trophy ban legislation. The council should approve it and the state Assembly should act in its upcoming session to end the imports for good.

While permits from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Agency to hunt threatened and endangered species and import their body parts overseas is supposed to be regulated, the truth is that obtaining the permits are often a matter of political influence.

Studies show that less than 3% of revenues from trophy hunting returns to African communities for wildlife protection.

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