An American politician has introduced a bill to Congress that will see the end of most trophy imports.
A democrat congressman from Arizona, Raúl Grijalva, introduced Conserving Ecosystems by Ceasing the Importation of Large Animal Trophies Act (CECIL Act).
Its main aim is to amend the existing Endangered Species Act (ESA) to ban the unpermitted take or trade of species proposed for listing, which would mean they are treated like they already have protection.
This would mean a ban on importing the trophies from most big game.
“The bill ignores the science that shows big game exists because of regulated hunting,” says Fieldsports Channel presenter Charlie Jacoby. “It also ignores recent experience. The last US trophy ban cost the lives of hundreds of lions in Zimbabwe, slaughtered because nobody was coming to spend money on hunting them.”
Scottish stalker and Fieldsports Channel presenter Niall Rowantree says: “We live in that time that has seen huge change. We are now aware that our impact on the planet is having a detrimental effect on ecosystems from pole to pole and many people are alarmed at what lies ahead for mankind.
“Unfortunately, the lack of understanding between the sustainable use of natural resources and hunting as an activity has led many to believe that the shooting of any animal is detrimental to the environment. The need to balance species with the remaining habitat that can sustain them has never been more important and like everything in our modern world the cost of delivering sustainable management has to come from somewhere.
“I know of no other model that provides direct income to the people delivering this management and living with wildlife that paid hunting delivers. This lack of understanding if not managed with the fact and communication could lead to huge negative impacts and wild mammals who were currently tolerated because of their value. It is vital that we seek common ground and remove emotion and replace it with fact for nature’s sake.”
Hunting and conservation bodies are reacting with consternation. Here’s what Corey Mason from Dallas Safari Club has to say:
Here’s the politician’s announcement:
Were you upset when Cecil the Lion was killed? So was I! I introduced the CECIL Act, which says you can’t import trophy-hunted animals to the U.S. unless the money you spent provably contributes to conservation. No more pay-to-play for endangered trophies. t.co/6twZdhRhUq
— Raul M. Grijalva (@RepRaulGrijalva) April 10, 2019