BALTIMORE – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has become an original cosponsor of the Conserving Ecosystems by Ceasing the Importation of Large (CECIL) Animal Trophies Act to curb the sport killing of species that are proposed to be listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. The CECIL Act was introduced by Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and cosponsored by Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Richard Blumenthal (Ct.).
The CECIL Animal Trophies Act is named after an African lion who was allegedly lured outside of a National Park in Zimbabwe earlier this week, shot with an arrow, and tracked for 40 hours while injured before being shot.
Last year, The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) proposed listing the African Lion as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in October 2014, but has yet to finalize any protections. The CECIL Animals Trophies Act would extend the import and export protections for a species listed under the Endangered Species Act to those that have been proposed for listing, thereby prohibiting the import of any trophies gleaned from Cecil’s death without explicitly obtaining a permit from the Secretary of the Interior.
Full text of the CECIL Animal Trophies Act can be downloaded here.