Today, the California Senate passed Senate Bill 1175 mostly along party lines, 29-8, despite outspoken domestic and international opposition. This legislation will now go before the Assembly for consideration after they return from recess on July 13th.
If passed, this bill would prohibit the importation and possession of several common game species from Africa including leopard, black rhinoceros, white rhinoceros, giraffe, Jentink’s duiker, plains zebra, mountain zebra, hippopotamus, baboon and hyaena.
This legislation represents a misguided attempt to address a legitimate concern about diminished numbers of “iconic” African species. By banning the import of hunting trophies, the bill targets the countries where these species are healthiest.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife estimates that enforcement of SB 1175 will cost $4.7 million and require twelve positions in the first year and $3.2 million every year thereafter. However, this estimate does not account for the costs of defending this bill in federal court when litigation is filed.
The decision for the state Senate to take up such a costly measure at a time when California is in the midst of a $54.3 billion budget deficit is nothing short of irresponsible.
Simply put, this bill would greatly decrease conservation dollars, would result in litigation against the state, and would put a drain on the finances dedicated to both African and California wildlife.
Safari Club International will continue to work to oppose this legislation in the Assembly and if necessary, at the Governor’s mansion and in the courtroom.
Text SCI CALIFORNIA to 730-75 or use SCI’s Hunter Advocacy Action Center to let California State Assembly members know that this legislation is bad for conservation and bad for California.