SCI Applauds Gov. Christie’s Veto of Restrictive Bills

Ivoryhunterrifle1huntforever032814Safari Club International applauds New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for vetoing SB 3146/ AB 4773 and SB 3416/ AB 4808, legislation that would prohibit the people of New Jersey from possessing or transporting a number of different wildlife species, including the Big Five, throughout New Jersey and banning the importation of those same species from any port overseen by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. SCI also applauds the pressure sportsmen and women put on Governor Christie. Without your phone calls and support, these misguided pieces of legislation might have been signed into law.

SCI and its members support punishing those who illegally kill wildlife and believe such individuals should be penalized to the full extent of the law. However, the solution to poaching will never be found in proposals that punish law-abiding citizens. Rather than focusing on poachers, smugglers and black-market profiteers of illicit ivory and other animal parts, SB 3146/ AB 4773 and SB 3416/ AB 4808 target law-abiding hunters and other owners of legally obtained animals and animal products. New Jersey should shift its focus and implement strategies that combat those who intentionally violate existing laws that regulate the killing and use of animals.

SCI and every legitimate hunter abhor the act of poaching. Governor Christie understood these proposals will do nothing to stop poaching in Africa or elsewhere and will only penalize law-abiding citizens of New Jersey. The solution to poaching, however, does not lie in discouraging U.S. hunters, who actually provide an on-the-ground anti-poaching presence. It will be found using sound scientific principles of sustainable use conservation.

Science, not the hyperbole and emotionalism of anti-hunters, should provide the foundation for laws that affect the management and conservation of wildlife. Although anti-hunters may think that it is preferable to influence the public with emotionally-based campaigns, what they achieve in the name of conservation often fails to be in the best interest of wildlife.

These vetoes are a significant setback for anti-hunting legislators and a great win for hunters throughout the country. SCI will continue to work with other sportsmen groups and state legislatures to prevent passage of restrictive laws and policies that are detrimental to hunters and wildlife conservation.

 

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