Statement on HR 2494 - The Global Anti Poaching Act
Illegal poaching has hit a crisis point for many of the world’s most iconic species. Nearly 100 elephants are being slaughtered each day by ivory poachers. The black market sale of rhino horn and trafficking in infant gorillas is driving these species to the brink of extinction. H.R. 2494, the Global Anti-Poaching Act, takes critical steps to strengthen the punishments for poaching and wildlife tracking. The United States is a leader in the fight to protect endangered and threatened species around the world, and today’s legislation continues that legacy. This bill will ensure that the full strength of the U.S. criminal justice system can be brought to bear against those who seek to kill, trade or otherwise profit from the furs, pelts, skins or other body parts of protected species. The profits from this illegal trade are often used to fund terrorist or criminal activities, making the tougher enforcements in this bill an issue of national security as well.
Additionally, this bill creates important partnerships with nations around the world to lend our country’s expertise in countering wildlife trafficking to local law enforcement officials on the ground. By engaging partners across national boundaries, coordinating resources, and sharing intelligence, this legislation would make anti-poaching efforts around the world more efficient and more effective.
Poaching is a big business in the criminal world that threatens species across the globe. Today’s legislation steps up America’s efforts to ensure the protection of endangered species and crack down on this black market industry. I thank Mr. Royce, as the author of this bill and our founding co-chair on the International Conservation Caucus, for his leadership on this issue, and I urge my colleagues to vote yes on H.R. 2494.