California’s legislation, SB 1175, would ban both the importation and possession of eight commonly hunted African species, including taxidermy received after 2020. These species include: elephant, lion, leopard, rhino, giraffe, hippo, hyena, and zebra.
HSCF opposes this bill in that it is an attempt by the CA state government to supersede the permitting authority of the USFWS, as it relates to the possession or importation of legally harvested game animals.
This bill would enact the Iconic African Species Protection Act and would prohibit the possession of specified African species and any part, product, or the dead body or parts thereof, including, but not limited to, the African elephant or the black rhinoceros, by any individual, firm, corporation, association, or partnership within the State of California, except as specified for, among other things, use for educational or scientific purposes by a bona fide educational or scientific institution, as defined.This is an attempt to pass legislation and gain bill support, hidden behind the veil of an ongoing public health crisis, stating that its intent is to prevent the spread of zoonotic disease and prohibit wet markets.
The obvious goal is an attempt to place a ban on the import of legally harvested game animals from Africa. In no way would this bill benefit wildlife species.
This legislation is not enforceable and would be preempted by federal law under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) Section 6(f), 16 USC Sec. 1535(f). States cannot permit what is prohibited by the ESA or prohibit what is authorized by an ESA exemption or permit.
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