Name: African Elephant Conservation and Legal Ivory Possession Act
Bill Number: HR 226
This bill mixes legitimate elephant conservation measures,
such as support for anti-poaching programs, with blatant elephant hunting
provisions for the taking and importation of elephant trophies. It would allow
the trade of elephant ivory—both within the U.S. as well as for importation and
exportation—despite a new rule by the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service (FWS) banning the sale of elephant ivory in interstate
commerce. Elephant conservation experts agree that ANY trade in ivory undermines
efforts to stop poaching because it is not possible to determine the age of
ivory with accuracy. Allowing the open sale of ivory means that the black
market can operate with impunity in trading illegally-taken elephant tusks,
encouraging more poaching and the death of countless elephants.
A new law permitting the import of elephant trophies would
be disastrous, especially after the November 15, 2017 announcement that the FWS
would once again be selling licenses to bring elephant trophies into the U.S.
That action was temporarily halted after a tweet by President Trump. But
enacting a law to permit it would make stopping subsequent policy changes much
harder to overturn.
Call to Actions:
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Please Oppose Efforts to Undermine Elephant Conservation
Dear [Decision Maker],
I strongly urge you to oppose HR 226, the African Elephant Conservation and Legal Ivory Possession Act. This bill would actually undermine the newly-adopted U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rule to ban the sale of most ivory in interstate commerce in order to stop the slaughter of elephants for their tusks. In addition, it would allow for the importation of elephant trophies from countries that still allow elephant hunting, which would lead to increased decimation of this threatened species. Elephant conservation experts agree that allowing the open trade in ivory is a threat to efforts to stop elephant poaching as poached ivory is impossible to distinguish from legally taken ivory from a decade or more ago. It is a waste of taxpayer dollars to fund efforts to reduce poaching and capture poachers when at the same time the law would give these poachers a ready market for the ivory they obtain by slaughtering elephants. Please oppose legislation that purports to support elephant conservation when it is really about making it easier to sell elephant trophies and ivory.
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]