Sponsor(s): Rep. Robert E. Latta (R-OH) and Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC)
Update (February 5, 2014): H.R. 3590 passed the House of Representatives.
The Hunting, Fishing and Recreational Shooting Protection Act would make it impossible to consider the effects of any “chemical substance” in pistol, revolver, firearm, shell, cartridge, or sport fishing equipment, as outlined in the Toxic Substances Control Act. This bill would prevent federal agencies, and the scientists that work for them, from carrying out their duty to evaluate and protect the public and the environment from toxic substances. This is particularly relevant to our fight to eliminate lead from hunting equipment, because of its deadly effects on wildlife that ingest it. Federal agencies must retain the ability to make decisions based solely on the best available science, not guided by an uncalled for and unscientific bill.
The Polar Bear Conservation and Fairness Act would allow the importation of 41 polar bear sport trophies from Canada. Between the proposal to list polar bears as threatened in 2006 and the final threatened listing in 2008, 41 hunters killed polar bears – despite repeated warnings from hunting organizations and government agencies that trophy imports would likely not be allowed as of the listing date. If Congress passes this new waiver on sport trophies and allows these hunters to import their kills, it would be rewarding their risky and ecologically unsound behavior. It would also set a precedent for Congressional leniency on the import of animals being considered for threatened or endangered listing, which could accelerate the pace of killing for any species proposed for listing in the future.
Other provisions in this huge bill would prevent the public from having a say in National Wildlife Refuge decisions, and waive important environmental reviews for this system as well. There is language that promotes hunting, recreational fishing, and recreational shooting opportunities at the expense of case-by-case judgment and smart land management. Such blind dedication to implementing recreational killing is detrimental to both conservation efforts and public safety.
This omnibus bill combines several bill related to environmental resources into one. There are several problematic portions with dire implications for wildlife and the ecosystems they need to thrive.
Tell your U.S. senator that you do NOT support this immensely problematic piece of legislation!
Read the full bill and follow its progress here for the House bill and here for the Senate bill.