Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill. Unfortunately, the passage included Section 439, language which would place an effective ban on the import of elephant or lion trophies from Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Now, the bill is heading to the Senate, which has an opportunity to remove this harmful language. As the leader in defending the freedom to hunt and promoting wildlife conservation worldwide, SCI stands in strong opposition to this bill and will continue the fight against all legislation that harms the hunting community and global conservation.
The House had an opportunity to pass the bill without Section 439 included. SCI extends a huge thank you to one of our champions in Congress, Rep. Jeff Duncan (SC) for offering an amendment to strike this section from the bill. Unfortunately, they voted against his amendment and sent the bill, Section 439 intact, to the Senate.
The Senate must see Section 439 for what it is: a blatant attempt to shut down hunting in these three countries with a total disregard for proven conservation strategies, local communities, and the right of sovereign nations to manage their own wildlife. African governments, communities, and leaders have repeatedly advocated to the international community against trophy bans, and it is now up to the Senate to listen.
Section 439 is far from law, and the fight has only just begun. Last year, the House passed the same language in Section 436, but it was ultimately defeated in the Senate thanks to the efforts of SCI and SCI advocates. The message to Congress was clear with thousands of letters sent. We need your help now more than ever to defeat Section 439 and send an overwhelming message that international hunting bans are bad for wildlife, bad for conservation, and bad for communities.
Anti-hunting legislation will not stop with international hunting, and the hunting community needs to oppose this attack with one voice. Stand together with SCI in the fight and TAKE ACTION to oppose this bad bill!