Albany, NY – Yesterday, the Trump Administration announced that they will consider applications to import lion and elephant trophies on a case-by-case basis. Previously, President Trump was critical of allowing the trophies into the country and even stopped a previous attempt to allow the import of these trophies. However, as is usually the case, the President went back on that decision. Below, Senator Tony Avella, who is a longtime animal rights advocate, responds.
“This week, President Trump’s administration announced that beginning immediately they will allow the remains of lions and elephants hunted in certain African countries to be imported into the United States. This decision to allow these ‘trophies’ into our country is shameful and will only expedite the decrease in the lion and elephant populations of these countries. I also fear that this decision will open the door to the extermination of the rest of the ‘Big Five African Species.’ The continued importation, possession, sale, and/or transportation of trophies of lions, leopards, elephants, white rhinos, and black rhinos is detrimental to the survival of these species.
“That is why, I believe, it is more important than ever for the New York State Legislature to pass my bill, S1883, to enact ‘African Big Five Act’—previously known as Cecil’s Law—that would ban the importation, transportation, and possession of the Big Five African Species and their trophies as soon as possible.
“New York is the number one port of entry into the United States from Africa. With that comes an exorbitant amount of big game ‘trophies’ being imported into the country that celebrates the unconscionable killing of the ‘Big Five African Species.’ While New York might not be the final destination of these trophies, it is their entry into the country. The ‘African Big Five Act’ seeks to close off their entry into the United States through New York. By banning the importation, possession, sale, and transportation of all Big Five African Species within New York, the State will not be encouraging or abetting the continued demise of these species by sport hunting. By passing this act, NY would be the first state to substantially curb trophy hunting. It is time for NY to do what it does best and lead.
“Like with most of this President’s policies, this decision is inhumane and does not reflect the values of our great State. The President may want to allow these murder trophies into our country but by passing the ‘African Big Five Act’ New York can stand up and tell him to think again.”