When an American trophy hunter killed a beloved lion known as Cecil in 2015, the backlash was swift, but the sad reality is that he is hardly alone and imperiled species continue to be put at risk by poaching and trophy hunting – even Cecil's own son, Xanda, met a similar fate just two years later.
Now, however, there's a chance to change the way things are done with the Conserving Ecosystems by Ceasing the Importation of Large Animal Trophies Act (CECIL Act), which was just reintroduced by Rep. Raúl Grijalva.
This legislation would protect wildlife from trophy hunting in a few different ways; It will amend the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to ban the unpermitted take or trade of species proposed for listing, which would mean they're treated like they already have protection, and it would increase transparency by requiring the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to publish permit import applications and hold a public comment period before issuing permit.
It would also ban imports of elephant and lion trophies from countries including Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Zambia, where both of these species have experienced severe population declines.
Lastly, it directs the Government Accountability Office to determine whether or not trophy hunting in foreign countries contributes to wildlife conservation, and recommend reforms for the industry, and it will shut down the International Wildlife Conservation Council, a forum created by the Trump administration to promote international trophy hunting.
Passing this legislation will ultimately help imperiled species who are in need of greater protection from further exploitation by trophy hunters and the wildlife trade.
Please sign and share this petition urging members of Congress to protect wildlife from trophy hunters by passing the CECIL Act.