An anti-hunting bill is moving through the California legislature that will severely cripple wildlife management in Africa. The bill known as the Iconic African Species Protection Act, would ban the importation of body parts from elephants, lions, leopards, and black or white rhinos unless they are being used for educational or scientific purposes.
According to the Sportsmen’s Alliance, on Aug. 16, 2018 the Assembly Appropriations Committee approved Senate Bill 1487, sponsored by Sen. Henry I. Stern (D- Canoga Park), with a vote of 12 to 5. Sportsmen have about 2 weeks to stop this bill from becoming law.
The Sportsmen’s Alliance is calling on all California hunters to call their representative and voice their opposition to this bill.
Take Action Today! California sportsmen should contact their state assembly member and ask them to vote NO on Senate Bill 1487. Let them know that their vote to protect the Big Five species will actually put them in greater danger. SB 1487 is bad for wildlife, and it’s unfair to hunters. California members can find their state assembly member by using the Sportsmen’s Alliance Legislative Action Center.
Currently, American hunters may hunt Africa’s Big Five, which include elephants, lions, leopards, black or white rhinos and Cape buffalo, as long as they obtain the proper import permits from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and be legally permitted to hunt those species in the range countries. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service only issues import permits for hunts that occur in countries that maintain sound conservation plans that help improve threatened and endangered wildlife.
Senate Bill 1487 will cut off a vital supply of funding for conservation efforts, anti-poaching enforcement and impoverished villages that depend on hunting tourists. SB 1487, if passed, would make California the third state to pass similar legislation. The New Jersey legislature enacted a ban on all species of the Big Five in 2016. Washington state voters approved a ballot initiative in 2015 that banned the trade of ivory, and parts of some animals, which included elephants, leopards, lions, rhinos, sharks and others.
Too many people think you can manage wildlife through emotion. Wildlife needs to be managed through sound science and biology. Hunting has been key to the conservation of iconic African wildlife and banning their imports will hurt conservation efforts. Anti-hunting bills like this one have no place in wildlife management.