March 7, 2018 - Press Release

MARCH 7, 2018
Senator Stern Announces Legislative Action to Keep Endangered 'Trophies' Out of California

Move to severely weaken federal protections against import of elephant trophies prompts statewide response

SACRAMENTO - State Senator Henry Stern (D-Canoga Park) and a coalition of national and statewide animal activists are announcing their plans to take legislative action to prevent the possession of elephant trophies in California.

This action comes in response to recent changes in federal policy made last week when, despite President Trump's promises to uphold the ban on imported African elephant trophies, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced they will now be considering all permits on a "case-by-case" basis. The policy change has prompted public outcry as it will undoubtedly incentivize trophy hunters and practices that will further diminish already dwindling elephant population.

"California has the power to end trophy hunting of endangered species here, and through our market power, across the world. I intend to use that power this year to stop Trump's deeply disappointing about face," remarked Senator Stern. "Unlike Washington D.C., in California, we recognize endangered animals as treasures to be protected, not trophies to be mounted."
Senator Stern and the animal rights coalition are considering a range of legislative options, including a statewide ban on possessing actual trophies or parts of trophies, with the overall goal to prevent the import of endangered species.

"It is appalling that overturning a ban vital in protecting declining elephant populations in Africa is even being considered on a "case by case basis," stated Judie Mancuso, founder and president of Social Compassion in Legislation (SCIL), the animal advocacy group sponsoring the bill.  "In fact, this appears like a disingenuous way to overturn the ban completely."

SCIL's director of legislative affairs, Nickolaus Sackett, who is working with Senator Stern to ensure that California does its part to protect endangered species, stated, "The fact is that there is no evidence that trophy hunting enhances the survival of elephants in Africa as required by the US Fish and Wildlife Service's own regulations. We need to save the lives of animals in Africa, not kill them falsely in the name of conservation."

"African elephants have been under siege for decades. Targeted by ivory poachers and legal hunters, elephant numbers have dropped perilously low in most parts of the continent. According to the Great Elephant Census, the elephant population dropped by 30% from 2007 to 2014, a loss of 144,000 elephants. Across Zimbabwe they fell by 6% with substantial declines recorded along the Zambezi River in Zambia. 

It's time to take the "con" out of conservation," said Katie Cleary, founder of Peace 4 Animals, the group which just launched a billboard campaign across the United States with that very slogan.   

Henry Stern is Chair of the Senate Committee on Elections and Constitutional Amendments, and the first millennial elected to the Senate. Senator Stern also serves on Energy, Utilities and Communications, Environmental Quality, Judiciary, and Natural Resources and Water. He represents nearly 1 million residents of the 27th District living in east Ventura County and northwest Los Angeles County. .

We will be sending out "Calls To Action" on our sponsored bills within the next two weeks.  Please stay tuned, we need your voices.  Thank you for your support in helping us save animals.

Deepest gratitude, 

Judie Mancuso, Founder / CEO
Social Compassion In Legislation


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