A few weeks ago a bill as introduced in Nevada that equated killing a coyote with manslaughter. Now Connecticut has take a play out of that play book and attached a similar penalty to possessing taxidermy of certain African animals.
According to the Sportsmen’s Alliance, Connecticut Sen. Bob Duff’s (D-Norwalk) Senate Bill 20 would ban the import, sale, transport and possession of the so-called “Big Six” African animals (African elephants, lions, leopards, rhinoceros, Cape buffalo, and Giraffes).
Other states have implemented similar bans, but what makes this legislation unique is the steep penalties. Violations of the new law would be a felony and subject to a fine of up to $10,000 and imprisonment for up to 2 years – the same penalties given to a person guilty of manslaughter.
“Apparently some Connecticut legislators believe possessing taxidermy is the equivalent of killing a human being,” said Bruce Tague, vice president of government affairs for the Sportsmen’s Alliance. “We surely hope that the majority of Connecticut’s legislators have enough commonsense to reject such an outlandish and radical idea and will study the issue more closely.”
Regulated hunting in Africa is essential to conservation and legislation like this hampers the effort to make sure these animals will exist for generations to come.
“Without hunting, people in these countries are deprived of good jobs, and forced to accept the dangers and damages caused by these species,” said Tague. “Sen. Duff may think he’s helping the “Big 6,” but he’s actually making it much more likely that these animals will be killed in an unsustainable manner, as the funds for anti-poaching efforts dry up because of a lack of funding from hunters. Senate Bill 20 treats killing animals the same as killing a human being, and yet will result in the destruction of the animals it claims to protect!”