California African Big 5 Bill Sent to Governor’s Desk

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Take Action Today! California sportsmen should contact Gov. Brown and ask him to veto Senate Bill 1487. Gov. Brown has until Sept. 30 to veto or sign SB 1487 into law. SB 1487 is bad for wildlife, and it’s unfair to hunters. California sportsmen can contact the governor’s office by clicking on the following link:

With just days to go before California’s legislature adjourns, the State Assembly dealt sportsmen and wildlife conservation a low blow by sending legislation to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk that would ban the import of most of Africa’s iconic Big Five species. On Aug. 31, Senate Bill 1487, sponsored by Senator Henry I. Stern (D- Canoga Park), passed the Assembly by a vote of 55 to 20. The bill had previously passed the California Senate on May 30 27-7.

Also known as the Iconic African Species Protection Act, SB 1487 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. Anyone in violation of the act could face a fine of $5,000 to $50,000. Senate Bill 1487 will now head to Gov. Brown’s desk to be signed into law.

Currently, American hunters may hunt Africa’s Big Five, which include elephants, lions, leopards, black or white rhinos and Cape buffalos as long as they obtain the proper import permits from both 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. Dollars spent by American hunters fund anti-poaching operations and provide much needed funds to villages in those countries.

Gov. Brown’s signature would make California the third state to enact similar restrictions. The New Jersey legislature enacted a ban on all species of the Big 5 in 2016. Washington State voters approved a ballot initiative in 2015 that banned the trade of ivory and parts of some animals, which include trophies from elephants, leopards, lions, rhinos, sharks and others.

“The worst part of Senate Bill 1487 is that it will actually hurt Africa’s iconic Big 5, and the villages that depend on hunter dollars for survival,” said Luke Houghton associate director of state services for Sportsmen’s Alliance. “SB 1487 will dry up funds used for anti-poaching enforcement while poaching itself will increase as the number of American hunters decreases.”

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 possible. Stay connected to Sportsmen’s Alliance: OnlineFacebookTwitter and Instagram.