H.R. 2494, the Global Anti-Poaching Act, was marked up by House Foreign Affairs Committee today
Bill calls for wildlife crimes to be prosecuted under money laundering and racketeering laws, both increasing penalties and acting as a deterrent
For the first time, U.S. military could donate old equipment to wildlife rangers
Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) and Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) jointly introduced bill as chair and ranking member of House Foreign Affairs Committee and will oversee markup
WASHINGTON (June 25, 2015) – The following statement is from John Calvelli, WCS Executive Vice President for Public Affairs and Director of the 96 Elephants Campaign:
“WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) applauds today’s House Foreign Affairs Committee markup of H.R. 2494, the Global Anti-Poaching Act, which would bolster wildlife trafficking law enforcement. Importantly, the bill strengthens the prosecution of offenders under racketeering and money laundering laws and allows the transfer of old military equipment including night vision goggles and radios to wildlife rangers in Africa. We are thankful to have committed champions in Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) and Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) shepherding this bill through the legislative process.
“As we’ve seen with the tremendous success of last week’s crush of one ton of confiscated ivory in New York’s Times Square, the public is taking notice and there is momentum for stopping illegal wildlife trade. The American people have spoken loudly on this issue, based on 886,000 letters sent to representatives through the 96 Elephants campaign, that this should be a priority for both political parties.
“The current penalties need to be enhanced to deter the traffickers and criminal syndicates behind the crimes. There is much more that the U.S. government can do to protect these endangered species. We applaud this bipartisan effort to make sure poachers and traffickers are held accountable and serve as a greater deterrent to future wrongdoing.
“WCS is happy to see this bill quickly make its way through the committee process and look forward to seeing it reach a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives.”
Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)
MISSION: WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. VISION: WCS envisions a world where wildlife thrives in healthy lands and seas, valued by societies that embrace and benefit from the diversity and integrity of life on earth. To achieve our mission, WCS, based at the Bronx Zoo, harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in more than 60 nations and in all the world’s oceans and its five wildlife parks in New York City, visited by 4 million people annually. WCS combines its expertise in the field, zoos, and aquarium to achieve its conservation mission. Visit: www.wcs.org; http://www.facebook.com/TheWCS; http://www.youtube.com/user/WCSMedia Follow: @thewcs.
96 Elephants (www.96elephants.org) – named for the number of elephants currently gunned down each day by poachers – is a WCS campaign that focuses on: securing effective U.S. moratorium laws; bolstering elephant protection with additional funding; and educating the public about the link between ivory consumption and the elephant poaching crisis. WCS’s 96 Elephants campaign brings together world citizens, partners, thought leaders, and change makers to leverage collective influence to stop the killing, stop the trafficking, and stop the demand.