Anti-Hunting Legislation Introduced in New York State Assembly

On April 8, 2015, New York State Senator Tony Avella (D-11) flanked by anti-hunting organizations such as PETA, Friends of Animals, and the League of Human Voters, announced the introduction of New York state Senate Bill 4686rhino021314, Foreign Game. This bill would completely ban the import, possession, sale and transportation of five African species in New York.

For hunters, the legislation’s terminology may be misleading. Although State Senator Avella’s proposed law would amend New York’s environmental conservation statue, concerning the “big five African species,” this bill would not protect the traditional “Big Five” (Lion, elephant, leopard, rhino and Cape buffalo). State Senator Avella excluded the Cape buffalo in favor of the white and black rhinoceroses.

According to State Senator Avella, this legislation provides these species with new protections. Yet, the bill fails to demonstrate exactly how such legislation would positively impact these African game species. Instead it would impose adverse impacts on sportsmen and women throughout New York and remove jobs and the livelihoods of many African people.

This bill would effectively dissuade New York’s sportsmen and women from hunting in Africa as well as many other hunters who use New York as an entry port. If hunters are deterred from hunting trips, they will stop bringing important revenue into the countries in which they hunt. The countries and local communities will lose out on much needed revenue that stimulates their rural economies and provides funding for conservation efforts in Africa. Without the money brought in by hunters, the countries and the professional hunting businesses will lack the funds needed to hire and outfit anti-poaching patrol. Senate Bill 4686attacks hunting as part of the problem when in fact it is part of the solution.

Safari Club International (SCI) is appalled by the poaching of any species, including any of the five species mentioned in Senator Avella’s legislation. Unfortunately, politically and emotionally charged legislation brought in the name of conservation often fails to be in the best interest of wildlife. SCI and its members remain dedicated to fight the illegal take of wildlife and cannot and will not support ill-conceived legislation that undercuts international wildlife conservation.

Please contact your State Senator and Assembly Member and politely urge him or her to OPPOSE Senate Bill 4686.



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