Born Free USA Position: OPPOSE
This bill restricts the regulations that the Fish and Wildlife Service may create.
Specifically, these regulations may not:
None of these requirements apply to regulations that were in effect on or prior to February 24, 2014.
This bill was introduced to complement an amendment added to the House FY 15 Interior and Environmental Appropriations Act, which seeks to defund the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's (FWS) new ivory regulations. These two Congressional actions are part of a broader attack on the new FWS rules, which some say will unfairly restrict the rights of those who legally own ivory in the U.S. Read more about the FWS rules here -- including how they do not inhibit anyone's right to continue owning their ivory items.
The new FWS rules were born out of the President's National Strategy For Combating Wildlife Trafficking (February, 2014). This ground-breaking document finally gave the appropriate weight and urgency to government's responsibility to address the elephant poaching crisis, and mandated the necessary scope of actions to deal with it. If these new regulations are now weakened by recent Congressional attacks, we are simply moving back to square one, and elephants are not receiving the international assistance they require. All ivory trade increases the demand for ivory and encourages poaching, particularly because it is so difficult to tell old ivory apart from new ivory. Exemptions for certain ivory pieces allow for the exploitation of these exemption, and inevitably serve as a loophole for illegally trafficked ivory.
Read a fact sheet about the background on this bill here.
Read more about devastating poaching crisis here.
Call or write to your U.S. senators and representative, and urge them to oppose this destructive legislation!