The Connecticut Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen (CCCS) is making a lot of noise opposing Senate Bill 227, “Cecil’s Law,” drafted by Friends of Animals, because the CT Chapter of Safari Club International has many members who participate in trophy hunting in Africa.

That’s why we need the silent majority of non-hunters in Connecticut—only 1.4 percent of the state’s population hunts—to speak up today and communicate with state legislators in the House and Senate and tell them to vote yes to Cecil’s Law. Time is running out as this legislative session will end May 4.

Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff introduced Senate Bill 227, “Cecil’s Law,” which will increase protection for endangered species at the state level by prohibiting hunters from bringing their “trophies” back to Connecticut. Cecil’s Law would ban the importation, possession, sale or transportation in Connecticut of the African elephant, lion, leopard, and black and white rhinos or their body parts—all threatened and endangered species. It will not criminalize any Connecticut residents who own or sell ivory. Ivory and ivory products that are otherwise legal to possess, transport, import and sell under federal law are not subject to the prohibitions contained in this bill.

Please contact your local state senators and representatives and tell them to vote yes to Cecil’s Law when it comes before the entire Senate and House. It passed favorably out of the Joint Environment Committee in March.

You can get contact info for your state senators and state representatives by calling 860.240.0100. To find an online directory, use this web address.

The CCCS is misleading Connecticut residents by telling them hunting is a useful mechanism for controlling wildlife populations and the fees derived from legalized trophy hunting can fund important conservation efforts on the ground.

But in July of 2014 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) suspended the importation of sport-hunted African elephant trophies taken in Zimbabwe because the agency found that the killing of elephants for sport in Zimbabwe does not enhance the survival of the species in the wild.

There is growing scientific evidence that the legal trade of trophy-hunted species actually enables the illegal poaching by reducing the stigma associated with killing these animals and by providing poachers a legal market to launder their contraband.

One example is South Africa, home to the second largest black rhino population in the world, which received permission by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora to sell permits for trophy-hunted rhinos in 2004. The country has since seen a marked rise in illegal rhino poaching, with the World Wildlife Foundation reporting that rhino poaching has increased 5,000 percent since 2007.