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Critical Wildlife Legislation Introduced in US Congress

This week, two bills aimed at conserving wildlife and combating wildlife crime globally were reintroduced in the US Congress. The WILD Act (H.R. 872/S. 268) was introduced in the House of Representatives by Reps. Alan Lowenthal and Don Young, and in the Senate by Sens. John Barrasso and Tom Carper. The Wildlife Conservation and Anti-Trafficking Act (H.R.864) was also introduced in the House by Reps. John Garamendi and Don Young.

In response, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) released the following statement from Ginette Hemley, senior vice president of wildlife conservation:

“These bills will not only advance wildlife conservation both in the US and abroad; they are further proof that protecting our planet’s wildlife remains a hallmark example of bipartisan collaboration.

“Iconic species like elephants, tigers, and rhinos face numerous threats in their fight for survival. Chief among these is wildlife trafficking, a transnational organized crime with a global black market estimated at $20 billion annually. In addition to looting our planet’s forests, grasslands, and oceans, wildlife trafficking is connected to other organized crimes, including narcotics and human trafficking, and helps finance extremist groups in Africa and elsewhere.

“Together, these bills will catalyze innovations to combat wildlife crime, support developing countries in protecting their wildlife, and increase penalties for wildlife crime and illegal fishing, generating new revenue for wildlife conservation efforts in the US. Enacting this legislation will make it clear the US stands firm in its commitment to fighting wildlife crime and protecting threatened species across the globe.”