By Spectrum News Staff
FLORIDA — The House voted 239 to 192 in favor of a bill that would protect endangered African lions and elephants by banning the importation of their dead carcasses into the United States to be mounted as trophies.
- Houses passes bill to protect endangered African lions, elephants
- Bill to ban importation of dead carcasses into US
“These magnificent creatures are on the verge of extinction,” said Rep. Vern Buchanan, a leader in Congress on protecting endangered species. “The last thing we should be doing is making it easy to slaughter these animals and bring their stuffed heads back into the U.S. as “trophies. Once a species is extinct it’s gone forever.”
The measure, proposed by Buchanan, prohibits the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from issuing importation permits from Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Tanzania — three countries that encourage trophy hunting.
His amendment follows a 2017 Interior Department decision to allow the importation.
According to officials, over 30,000 elephants are slaughtered for their tusks every year — one every 18 minutes.
A 2015 Marist Poll showed that more than 85 percent of Americans disapprove of big game hunting.