Connecticut Sen. Bob Duff’s (D-Norwalk) Senate Bill 20, which bans the import, sale, transport and possession of African elephants, lions, leopards, rhinoceros, Cape buffalos and giraffes, has passed the Joint Committee on Judiciary by a stunning vote of 31 to 5, and will now head to the Senate floor for a full vote.
Take Action Today! Connecticut sportsmen should contact their state legislator and ask them to vote NO on Senate Bill 20. Members can contact their legislator by using the Sportsmen’s Alliance Legislative Action Center.
The large vote margin is stunning because the penalties in SB 20 are outright ridiculous, treating possession of an African game taxidermy the same as killing a human being. Violations of the new law would be a felony with a fine of up to $10,000 and imprisonment for up to two years. These are the same penalties given to a person found guilty of manslaughter.
“Animal-rights extremists used to be subtle, careful not to reveal their true views that humans and animals deserve equal rights,” said Bruce Tague, vice president of government affairs for the Sportsmen’s Alliance. “SB 20 doesn’t hide it at all. Even worse than that, it treats someone who just buys a piece of legally obtained taxidermy the same as a criminal who has killed a person!”
By preventing the import or possession of African big game trophies, the authors of Senate Bill 20 are basically banning a Connecticut resident from hunting those species. Hunting for big game in Africa is tightly regulated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which only issues import permits for hunts that occur in countries that maintain sound conservation plans. Money that flows into these countries actually helps maintain healthy populations of wildlife and prevents poaching. A recent report by Southwick and Associates, a leading economist for wildlife agencies, found that $326 million in direct spending from hunting in the top-eight hunting destination countries annually, actually “changes the attitudes of the local community and gives wildlife a positive value, providing incentives against poaching and mitigating human-wildlife conflict.”
“So, in addition to equating the possession of legally obtained taxidermy with killing someone, this bill would actually do more harm than good to the animals the supporters purport to be trying to save,” said Tague. “You seriously can’t make this madness up.”
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.