In response to today’s passage by the US House of Representatives of the Global Anti-Poaching Act (H.R. 2494), introduced by Rep. Ed Royce (R – Calif.) and Rep. Eliot Engel (D – N.Y.), World Wildlife Fund (WWF) released the following statement from Ginette Hemley, Senior Vice President of Wildlife Conservation:
“This legislation is a significant step forward in the fight against wildlife crime and demonstrates the continued leadership that the US Congress is taking on this issue.
“Critically, it raises the stakes for wildlife criminals under US law. Wildlife crime has traditionally been extremely high profit and very low risk. By officially designating wildlife trafficking as a serious crime, the risk may finally outweigh the potential reward. This could be a real game changer for the conservation of elephants, rhinos, and countless species illegally killed and traded around the world.
“Both in the US and abroad, stiffer penalties and improved law enforcement are critical to tackling the global poaching epidemic. This legislation will help strengthen enforcement efforts in and among developing countries, and shine a spotlight on those governments that fail to meet their obligations to crack down on wildlife crime.
"We commend Representatives Royce and Engel for championing this legislation, which was co-sponsored by over 100 members of the House of Representatives from both sides of the aisle. Its passage today is proof of the deep bipartisan support for US government action to end the global poaching crisis."