Take Action – New Jersey hunters should leave a message at Gov. Chris Christie’s office at (609) 292-6000 to ask the Governor to veto Senate Bills 977 and 978. The Governor can also be reached through email using this link: http://www.state.nj.us/
Columbus, OH -(AmmoLand.com)- A pair of bills that would ban the importation and possession of trophies, including any animal parts from four of Africa’s ‘Big Five’ animals, has been sent back to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie after the legislature adopted his recommended changes.
His signature would make New Jersey the second state to ignore the conservation plans of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, along with many foreign governments, which manage wildlife in their respective countries.
Senate Bill 977 originally would have banned the possession of trophies or parts from elephants, lions, leopards, black or white rhinos and cape buffalo. The legislature has eliminated the restriction on cape buffalo, while maintaining the restrictions on the other four.
Senate Bill 978 bans ports under the control of the New Jersey / New York Port Authority from allowing the transport of these same species.
As per the Governor’s request, the legislature also agreed to grandfather in any trophies or animal parts possessed by New Jersey residents prior to the enactment of the bill. They also agreed to use the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) as the guidepost for which animals would be banned from possession or transport.
Currently, American hunters may hunt Africa’s Big Five, as long as they obtain the proper import permits from both the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and are legally permitted to hunt those species in the range countries. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service only issues import permits for hunts that occur in countries that maintain sound conservation plans that help improve threatened and endangered wildlife. Dollars spent by American hunters fund anti-poaching operations, and provide much needed funds to villages in range countries.
“The fact is that American hunters are a big reason why many species of African big game still exist,” said Evan Heusinkveld, president and CEO of the Sportsmen’s Alliance. “Without their funds, residents of range countries have no incentive to tolerate the damages and dangers caused by these animals. Legislation like Senate Bills 977 and 978 actually threaten African wildlife, while doing nothing to protect the future of these species from the their true threat – poaching. They are an unnecessary and unfair restriction placed on law-abiding New Jersey hunters.”
About the Sportsmen’s Alliance:
The Sportsmen’s Alliance is a 501 (c) 4 organization that protects and defends America’s wildlife conservation programs and the pursuits – hunting, fishing and trapping – that generate the money to pay for them. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation is a 501 (c) 3 organization that supports the same mission through public education, legal defense and research. Its mission is accomplished through several distinct programs coordinated to provide the most complete defense capability possible.