When Cecil the lion was shot just outside his Zimbabwe refuge, there were laws in place to protect him. But where is the law that prohibits people back home in the United States from proudly exhibiting trophies of dead endangered animals?
Clearly, action is needed to prevent poaching on the supply side. Cecil's killer was allegedly a Minnesota dentist and, while animal rights advocates are calling for him to be charged, it's not entirely clear that he can be prosecuted under any current United States law. However, US Senator Richard Blumenthal has stepped up to patch that gaping hole in the American code. With help from other lawmakers, he has drafted the CECIL Act which will curb sport killing of species that are endangered or threatened. The CECIL Act would prevent anyone from importing any trophies garnered from Cecil's death without express permission from the Secretary of the Interior.
This act, if passed, would offer substantial protection to other at-risk endangered species who are not yet in a rifle's crosshairs. Please join with me in demanding that Congress pass this important act!
To the United States House of Representatives and Senate:
We the undersigned are outraged at the cruel and pointless killing of Cecil the beloved Zimbabwe lion. It appears that Cecil was killed, not by a desperate and impoverished African, but by a wealthy Minnesota dentist. According to news reports, Cecil was collared and clearly identifiable as a protected animal. And yet he died a horrible slow death, first wounded with a bow and arrow, then tracked for several hours, killed and skinned. The only thing worse than this would be if anyone is allowed to import and display the trophies from this unconscionable action. The CECIL Animal Trophies Act offers a further layer of protection to endangered species overseas who, it appears, are at risk from idle American trophy hunters who have more money than sense.