Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation Opposes Two Short-Sighted Bills in Committee

On June 25, the House Natural Resources Committee held a legislative hearing on a number of bills including H.R. 2264, the Bear Protection Act of 2019, and H.R. 1776, the Captive Primate Safety Act.

Prior to the hearing, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) submitted a statement for the record to the Natural Resources Committee in opposition to H.R. 2264 and H.R. 1776. While the goals of both pieces of legislation are laudable, they will undermine the highly successful conservation programs and laws already in place. tr

H.R. 2264 seeks to limit the illegal trade of bear viscera by taking unnecessary and duplicative steps that will overcomplicate and undermine programs currently in place such as the Lacey Act, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), and the Endangered Species Act. Furthermore, this legislation would undermine the management authority of state wildlife agencies who have the primary authority to manage bear and other wildlife populations in the United States. States have and continue to invest significant time and capital into the conservation of bear populations, but H.R. 2264 fails to recognize these contributions and investments by ignoring the complexities of bear conservation. This legislation would also prohibit the transfer of bear viscera for medicinal or scientific purposes.

H.R. 1776, the Captive Primate Safety Act, which seeks to eliminate interstate transport and sale of non-human primate species, would also undermine some of the highly successful programs already in place. This legislation would place unrealistic enforcement standards on state wildlife agencies as well the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service). Furthermore, H.R. 1776 would detract valuable resources from the primary objectives of the Service’s enforcement goals pertaining to endangered species, migratory birds, and marine mammals, and would require the Service to focus efforts on species that are currently outside of their objectives and management authority.

Both bills await further action in the House Natural Resources Committee where CSF is working to ensure they do not advance further in the legislative process.

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Recently, Virginia has proposed legislation that would make the punishment for poaching, in their state, a 1-5 year prison sentence through HB-449. Poaching undermines the social acceptance of hunters, jobs, recreation, local and state economies, and conservation efforts. How should poachers be punished?

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