The U.S. Department of Interior has declared open season on Africa’s most majestic and threatened species, taking actions to make it easier than ever to sport hunt elephants, lions, black and white rhinos and leopards. There are no laws protecting giraffes. That’s why it’s more important than ever to raise awareness and support Friends of Animals in its push for legislation to ban imports of trophy-hunted animals from Africa.
Specifically, Friends of Animals is calling on New Yorkers to shut down the state’s port of entry, the busiest in the country, for these animal trophies by supporting the Big 5 African Trophies Act that would ban the importation, possession, sale or transportation in New York of the African elephant, lion, leopard, giraffes, and black and white rhinos or their body parts. Similar bipartisan legislation, SB 20, has also been introduced in Connecticut and is sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff and State Rep. Brenda Kupchick.
Americans make up the greatest number of trophy hunters travelling to Africa for the kills and while trophy hunters promulgate the notion that without them there would be no money for conservation, in truth, there is no evidence to support that. However, there is growing scientific evidence that legal sport-hunting actually reduces the overall chance that these species can continue to survive in the wild. Legalized hunting falsely suggests that funds are being used to ensure the protection of wild populations and that the variety of species are recovering.
In New York, more than 150,000 trophy hunted animals have been imported from Africa from 2005 to 2014, including 1,130 elephant trophies and an additional 84 tusks; 1,541 lions, 1,169 leopards, 110 white rhinos in recent years.
From 2005-2015, 59 trophy hunting permits were issued to Connecticut residents by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service so people could hunt and kill leopards. Six additional permits were provided to CT residents to kill African elephants in Botswana, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. Connecticut residents killed 39 lions and one giraffe and imported their trophies between 2005-2016, . The CT communities that have been issued the most permits for trophy hunting are Greenwich, North Haven, Norwalk, Berlin, Stamford, Westport, Weston, Easton, Southington, Middletown.
Join our fight to protect Africa’s majestic species. Tell New York State lawmakers to support the Big Five African Trophies Act, Senate Bill S1883B. You can find your representative here. In Connecticut, tell lawmakers to support SB 20. CT lawmakers from your district can be found here.