In 2018, California Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed legislation that would have banned the possession and importation of African Species. State Senator Henry Stern has introduced a similar bill that would once again try to enact this prohibition. Senate Bill 1175 would ban products from a number of species, including: African elephants, lions, leopards, rhinoceros, giraffe, zebra, hippos and hyena. Anyone who violates this new law would be subject to a civil penalty up to $40,000 for each instance. Senate Bill 1175 is awaiting a committee referral.
Take Action Today! California sportsmen should call their state senators and ask them to OPPOSE Senate Bill 1175. California members can contact their senators by using the Sportsmen’s Alliance Legislative Action Directory.
Senate Bill 1175 punishes law-abiding sportsmen by preventing them from possessing any part of these animals, including taxidermy, which were or would be lawfully hunted and imported under federal law and in conjunction with sustainable African conservation plans. Under current law, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service only issues import permits for hunts that occur in countries that maintain sound conservation policies that help improve threatened and endangered wildlife.
SB 1175 would ban the possession of these species parts, including taxidermy, even if they were imported and possessed before the bill was enacted, unless evidence of every piece presented. The ban could even apply to transporting taxidermy through California, and penalties could be charged per violation – meaning if you had taxidermy of a lion, leopard, zebra and hyena, you would face a $160,000 fine.
“This legislation does nothing to improve the lives of Californians, Africans or the species listed, and would be nearly impossible to enforce. Even Gov. Brown vetoed this legislation for that reason,” said Jacob Hupp associate director of state services at the Sportsmen’s Alliance. “Unfortunately, this legislation does the most damage to the African villages and the very species that rely on funding and social and economic incentives to survive.”
African big-game hunting funds efforts that protect plentiful, threatened and endangered species from poaching and gives local communities incentive to tolerate conflict with them. These hunts occur within the scope of the law of African countries and adhere to United States import regulations. The dollars that come from African hunts provide a lifeline for many endangered and threatened species as they fund the anti-poaching and conservation efforts throughout Africa that would not be possible otherwise.
About the Sportsmen’s Alliance: The Sportsmen’s Alliance protects and defends America’s wildlife conservation programs and the pursuits – hunting, fishing and trapping – that generate the money to pay for them. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation is responsible for public education, legal defense and research. Its mission is accomplished through several distinct programs coordinated to provide the most complete defense capability possible. Stay connected to Sportsmen’s Alliance: Online, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.