Dear Friend of Animals:

Now is your chance to make a difference if you were outraged in 2015 when a well-heeled American dentist travelled to Africa and paid a significant amount of money for the experience of killing an endangered lion and then shot Cecil, a local favorite who lived on a wildlife refuge in Zimbabwe.

Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff introduced Senate Bill 227, “Cecil’s Law,” drafted by Friends of Animals, in Connecticut, which will increase protection for endangered species at the state level by prohibiting hunters from bringing their “trophies” back to Connecticut. 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.

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.

What we do in Connecticut can make a difference in Africa. Michael Harris, director of Friends of Animals Wildlife Law Program, said that 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.

Many thanks,
Nicole Rivard
FoA Correspondent