February 12, 2015

Legislation for Elephant Conservation, Legal Ivory Possession Introduced

On February 3, Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) Members Congressman Don Young (R-AK) and Congressman Collin Peterson (D-MN) introduced the African Elephant Conservation and Legal Ivory Possession Act of 2015 which combines the African Elephant Conservation Act of 1988 with a sensible regulation of ivory possession in the United States.

While continuing to significantly assist anti-poaching efforts in countries with elephant populations, H.R. 697 would effectively end constraints on legal possessing and transporting ivory products, including musical instruments, firearms, knives, jewelry and family heirlooms.

H.R. 697 also designates up to $5 million annually until 2020 toward assisting anti-poaching efforts and places U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) enforcement officers in African countries with elephant populations.

“”This bill is a balanced and comprehensive approach to targeting the trade of illegal ivory without penalizing the millions of Americans who legally acquire or already own products containing ivory,”” said Rep. Young.

Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?

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