A ban on the importation, sale and possession of specific African taxidermy has died in the Connecticut House of Representatives. Senate Bill 20, which passed the Connecticut Senate 32-4, died after the House adjourned on June 5. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Bob Duff (D-Norwalk), would have banned the importation of elephant, lion, leopard, rhinoceros, Cape buffalos and giraffe taxidermy and parts. Violators would have been charged with a misdemeanor and fined up to $2,000, and/or imprisoned for up to a year.
Legislation like this gained steam in several states after the media frenzy surrounding “Cecil” the lion in Zimbabwe in 2015. Possession laws to various degrees and species were approved in New Jersey and Washington. Senate Bill 20 lumped giraffes in with the traditional Big 5 species, and termed them the “Big 6.”
“Passage of SB 20 would have actually harmed the so called “Big Six” species by diminishing funds from American hunters that pay for anti-poaching programs and more,” said Luke Houghton, associate director of state services for the Sportsmen’s Alliance. “It’s terribly arrogant for anti-hunting legislators and the animal-rights lobby to believe they know what’s better for wildlife than the experts with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and biologists in the countries where these animals live. While we’re pleased the bill was defeated, it’s a real warning that it passed the senate. Sportsmen have their work cut out for them in the future in Connecticut and elsewhere.”
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.