In response to today’s Senate passage of the bipartisan Eliminate, Neutralize, and Disrupt (END) Wildlife Trafficking Act (H.R. 2494) introduced in the Senate by Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), World Wildlife Fund (WWF) issued the following statement from Ginette Hemley, senior vice president of wildlife conservation:
“With the world gathering next week in Johannesburg to act on the global wildlife poaching epidemic, the Senate is sending a timely signal to international leaders that the US continues to be serious about cracking down on wildlife crime.
“This bill helps ensure a unified approach by the US government as it works with countries and communities around the globe to combat wildlife crime and the challenges it poses to development, security and conservation. It also smartly elevates wildlife trafficking into a serious crime under US law, upping the penalties and providing law enforcement with greater tools for going after the worst offenders.
“Senators Coons and Flake should be commended for working with Congressmen Ed Royce (R-Calif.) and Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) to craft this strong and bipartisan bill, which passed the House of Representatives last fall. We urge the House to take up and quickly pass this version and send it to the President’s desk.”