Arlington, Va. USA – The U. S. Congress unanimously passed bipartisan legislation to address the illegal poaching and trafficking of elephants, rhinos, and other species. The legislation now heads to the President who is expected to sign the bill. Congressman Ed Royce (R-CA), Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, was the leading force moving this legislation through the House of Representatives. U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) were the leading sponsors of the END Wildlife Trafficking Act in the Senate.
Peter Seligmann, Chairman, CEO and founder of Conservation International:
“Illegal wildlife trafficking is directly connected to the funding of rebel organizations and terrorist networks. The black market created by poaching and wildlife trafficking generates an estimated $10 billion a year in revenue. The END Wildlife Trafficking Act is a significant step forward for the United States and our efforts to combat wildlife poaching and trafficking. We are so thankful to Chairman Royce for his tireless effort in ensuring the passage of this bill.”
Keith Roberts, executive director of wildlife trafficking, Conservation International:
“I am very pleased to see the U.S. Congress pass legislation to help stop the destructive practice of wildlife poaching and trafficking. This legislation is a critical step forward in the effort to end this rapidly growing crisis in Africa and around the world. This action by Congress underscores the international effort that is needed to combat wildlife trafficking. We are greatly appreciative of the U.S. Government increasing its role in fighting this global issue, which is directly connected to American national and economic security.”
About the END Wildlife Trafficking Act:
- requires the Secretary of State to identify the foreign countries determined to be a major source, transit point, or consumer of wildlife trafficking products and make a special designation for those countries whose government has actively engaged in or profited from wildlife trafficking as a “country of particular concern;”
- puts wildlife trafficking in the same category as weapons trafficking and drug trafficking, making it a liable offense for money laundering;
- presses the Administration to continue to provide security assistance to African countries for counter-wildlife-trafficking efforts;
- supports wildlife enforcement networks to help partner countries strengthen coordination and share information and intelligence on illegal wildlife trafficking on a regional basis; and
- supports increased professionalization of partner countries’ wildlife law enforcement rangers on the front lines of the fight against poachers, who are often armed with night-vision goggles, heavy weaponry, and even helicopters.
About Conservation International
Conservation International (CI) uses an innovative blend of science, policy and partnerships to protect the nature people rely on for food, fresh water and livelihoods. Founded in 1987, CI works in more than 30 countries on six continents to ensure a healthy, prosperous planet that supports us all. Learn more about CI and follow our work on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.