ALERT! California African Big Five Bill Passes Committee
Take Action Today! California sportsmen should contact their state assembly member and ask them to vote NO on Senate Bill 1487. Let them know that their vote to protect the Big Five species will actually put them in greater danger. SB 1487 is bad for wildlife, and it’s unfair to hunters. California members can find their state assembly member by using the Sportsmen’s Alliance Legislative Action Center.
California is poised to become the third state to restrict the importation of trophies from the hunting of most of Africa’s Big 5 species. On Aug. 16, the Assembly Appropriations Committee approved Senate Bill 1487, sponsored by Sen. Henry I. Stern (D- Canoga Park), with a vote of 12 to 5. The bill, also called the Iconic African Species Protection Act, 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.
The committee’s action sends the proposal to the Assembly Floor with nearly two weeks left in the 2018 session. California’s General Assembly doesn’t adjourn until Aug. 31, giving sportsmen one final opportunity to stop SB 1487 before it heads to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk for his signature.
Currently, American hunters may hunt Africa’s Big Five, which include elephants, lions, leopards, black or white rhinos and Cape buffalo, as long as they obtain the proper import permits from 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.
Senate Bill 1487 will cut off a vital supply of funding for conservation efforts, anti-poaching enforcement and impoverished villages that depend on hunting tourists. SB 1487, if passed, would make California the third state to pass similar legislation. The New Jersey legislature enacted a ban on all species of the Big Five in 2016. Washington state voters approved a ballot initiative in 2015 that banned the trade of ivory, and parts of some animals, which included elephants, leopards, lions, rhinos, sharks and others.
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.