East County News Service
April 19, 2018 (San Diego) – Senate Bill 1487, the African Species Protection Act, is set for hearing in the California State Senate’s Public Safety Committee, where members include Senator Joel Anderson, whose district includes most of East County. Wildlife conservation groups are urging the public to contact legislators on the committee to urge passage of the measure, which would ban possession in California of body parts from elephants, rhinos, giraffes, lions and other iconic African species.
The measure previously passed the Senate Natural Resources Committee, where “aye” votes included State Senator Ben Hueso, who represents the southern portion of East County.
Lion populations have declined 40 percent in the past two decades, with trophy hunting and illegal wildlife trafficking identified as major factors in the decline. Over half of lion trophies were imported into the U.S. Other species listed in the bill have also sharply declined.
Yet President Donald Trump recently lifted a ban on importing elephant trophies that had been imposed by his own regulatory agency. So now California is considering taking action on its own to prevent endangered and threatened African wildlife parts from being brought into our state. (The state has previously banned ownership and importation of elephant ivory and certain other endangered/threatened animal products.)“S.B. 1487 is crucial to stopping the $23 billion-dollar wildlife trade industry. People who participate in this trade support a world of organized crime. It promotes corruption and funds international terrorist groups which threatens the security of many countries,” Last Chance for Animals states in an e-mail to its conservation-minded members.
Senator Joel Anderson, Vice Chair of the Senate Public Safety committee, can be reached at (916) 651-4038.