February 21, 2020

For Immediate Release
Bill Introduced to Prohibit Possession of Hunted ‘Trophies’ of African Species in California

California poised to become first state to ban possession of body parts from elephants, lions, giraffes, leopards and other animals

Sacramento, CA - State Senator Henry Stern (D-Calabasas) today introduced SB 1175, the Iconic African Species Protection Act . The bill, sponsored by animal advocacy group Social Compassion in Legislation , will be the first legislation in the nation to ban possession of body parts of elephants, lions, giraffes, leopards, rhinos, zebras and hyenas. The bill does contain exemptions for articles already possessed at the time of enactment or if possessed by a bona fide education or scientific institution.

“Endangered animals shouldn’t be used as trophies or targets – they should be recognized as treasures we must protect,” said Senator Stern . “It’s long past time for California to make clear that we will play no part in incentivizing the monstrous practice of trophy hunting.”

"The Trump administration’s appalling approach towards conservation requires that states take bold steps to protect declining elephant, lion, and other species’ populations," said Judie Mancuso, founder and CEO of Social Compassion in Legislation . “Since we cannot depend on the federal government to act, SB 1175 is a path for states to follow to collectively help save these magnificent animals from extinction.”

“This bill is not just symbolically important but one that will ultimately have meaningful impact on the ground, while helping ensure that Californians are no longer complicit in driving the extinction of some of the most imperiled and iconic species on the planet," said Brendan Cummings, Conservation Director at the Center for Biological Diversity.

Despite opponents claims to the contrary, trophy hunting does not promote conservation. Lions are perhaps the most compelling example of the harmful effects of trophy hunting, as the species has decreased by over 40 percent in the past two decades, with trophy hunting identified as a major factor in the decline. In this same time period, over 20,000 African lion parts were traded, representing over 7,000 individual lions. The U.S. imported over half of these, primarily in the form of trophies. All the other species listed in the bill are in similar declines.

“Having recently traveled to Kenya and stood at the grave of Sudan, the last northern male white rhino on earth, brought the extinction crisis into sharp focus for me,” said Katie Cleary, founder and president of Peace 4 Animals and World Animal News. “While we lost Sudan and will soon lose the last remaining two northern female white rhinos, this bill is a critical stand that California will do what is necessary to save our planet’s critically endangered species.”

 “While much of the conversation around SB 1175 will be centered around the lack of evidence that trophy hunting contributes to the conservation of species in Africa, this is also part of a bigger fight against the sixth great extinction currently underway across the entire planet due to human causes,” said Nickolaus Sackett, director of legislative affairs for Social Compassion in Legislation . “We cannot afford half-measures any longer. It is time to take bold action and SB 1175 is just that.” 
Thank you all for your support. Please help us to continue our life saving work for the animals. We exist by donations alone, please donate today!

With gratitude,
Judie Mancuso, Founder/CEO/President
Social Compassion In Legislation
Social Compassion in Legislation