Petition calls for total ban on importation of wild animals and animal parts

On August 3, the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) sent a petition to the Secretary of the Interior and the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) which is using the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to justify the ban on imports of all wild mammals and nearly all birds, including all parts, such as skins and horns. in the USA. The proposed ban would apply to mammals and birds that are properly processed in accordance with established regulations.

The petition argues that “pandemics caused by zoonoses—Infectious diseases that pass from animals to humans — are completely preventable. However, the Service will fail to ensure that the US wildlife trade is not detrimental to humans and wildlife if it develops a proactive approach to restrict wildlife trade. At a minimum, the Service should stop trade in known reservoir and host species (mammals and birds) and establish a system to track remaining wildlife trade.

“It’s a ridiculous petition bordering on hysteria from radical animal rights organizations,” said Bruce tag, Vice President of Government Affairs of the Sports Alliance. “The Sportsmen’s Alliance will fight this petition, the sole purpose of which is to move an extreme agenda forward by stoking fears around COVID-19 at every step… What CBD and NRDC are not telling you is that these bans will cripple l ‘Rural Africa, will destroy decades of conservation work in range countries, and lead to biodiversity loss when fertile habitat is turned into cultivated fields or pasture for livestock, as wildlife will not more value.

Cyrus Baird, former director of government relations for Safari Club International, recently warned in The Hunting Wire that all hunters should be concerned and active against any proposed ban.

“Typically you will see anti-hunting advocates and uninformed lawmakers focusing on a handful of African species in their attacks – the ‘Big Five’ – which consist of elephants, Cape buffaloes. , African lions, white and black rhinos, and African leopards, ”Baird says. “Proponents of the bans target these species because they generally exist in smaller numbers (except buffaloes) and are more prone to poaching. “

The new petition significantly expands this effort. The Sportsmen’s Alliance points out that, unlike state or federal law subject to debate and vote, the petition calls on the Home Secretary and the USFWS chief to use their authority under the Lacey Act, to endangered species law and law Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora treaty unilaterally banning the importation of all wild mammals and birds (except parrots), as well as animal parts. Such bans could create a full and cumbersome chain of custody for any animal or part imported for research, zoos or aquariums (fish are included in the proposed chain of custody requirements).

Recent state-level efforts to ban imports, mainly from Africa, have had mixed legislative results. California Senate Bill 175, which would have banned the importation of 11 African species, failed. In Connecticut, however, Senate Bill 925 banning the import, sale or transfer of six African species was adopted and promulgated in June. Section 436 of a United States House of Representatives Resolution 4372, which is still under consideration, would prevent the importation of taxidermy of legally hunted elephants or lions from Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe by prohibiting the use of funds for obtaining permits. While Section 436 does not prohibit Americans from hunting in these countries, it does prevent the Home Office from using the appropriate money to issue an import permit.

Read more: Feds Eye lists wolves in Southeast Alaska. Hunters want to protect the deer herd

United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service regulates importation of animals and materials of animal origin and has already developed preventive measures related to COVID-19.

“This petition is just another example of the animal rights movement going back to nothing to end all human-animal relationships,” Tague added. “They have been working at the state level for years to ban the importation of African game. The House Appropriation Bill contains language that would achieve the same goal and now they are trying at the federal bureaucratic level to achieve their goals. This time they are not limited to African game – that’s all shebang – all wild mammals and birds “

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