In response to today’s introduction of the Wildlife Conservation and Anti-Trafficking Act of 2018 (H.R. 5697) by Representatives Madeleine Bordallo (D-Guam) and Don Young (R-Alaska), World Wildlife Fund (WWF) issued the following statement from Will Gartshore, deputy director of legislative affairs:
"This bill is another significant step forward in the U.S. government’s efforts to combat wildlife trafficking – a transnational organized criminal enterprise worth billions of dollars annually and driving many species toward extinction.
"This legislation expands on the successful approach taken by the END Wildlife Trafficking Act which was passed into law unanimously in 2016. It recognizes large-scale wildlife trafficking and illegal fishing as serious violations of U.S. laws and provides U.S. law enforcement with additional tools to go after those crimes. It bolsters the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s ability to help other countries protect their iconic wildlife, including rhinos, tigers and elephants. And it directs new funding to federal programs that support these efforts at no cost to the American taxpayer.
"U.S. efforts are critical to halting the global poaching crisis and protecting our planet’s remaining wildlife. Congress continues to show impressive leadership on this issue, and this new bill demonstrates that there is much more that can be done. WWF encourages Congress to advance this legislation and continue its strong support for programs to combat wildlife trafficking and illegal fishing."