On June 26th, the California Senate voted 29-8 to pass Senate Bill 1175, the Iconic African Species Protection Act, legislation that would ban the possession and importation of thirteen species of African game animals, the majority of which are stable or increasing populations in range countries where they are hunted.
This legislation will have negative wildlife management impacts on species conservation in Africa. This bill would also be an unnecessary financial burden to the state at a time when they are currently grappling with a $54 billion deficit by costing the state and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife roughly $4 million dollars a year to enforce. This bill is not about conservation, this legislation is being orchestrated by the Center for Biological Diversity and the Human Society of the United States and it is a direct legislative attack on international hunting freedoms.
Not only does Senate Bill 1175 conflict with the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) and is unenforceable, it is also in conflict with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) – an international agreement between governments with the goal of ensuring that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.
Testifying in opposition to this legislation during the hearing will be:
- Maxi Louis, Director, Namibian Association of Community-Based Natural Resource Management Support Organizations
- George Pangeti, Former Chairman of the Board for Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority