Today is World Lion Day, founded in 2013 by the African Lion & Environmental Research Trust, to encourage the general public to donate directly to an organization that they choose to support that works for lion conservation.
As part of Friends of Animals’ aggressive anti-trophy hunting campaign, we introduced historic legislation—Cecil’s Law, named after the slain African lion—that would ban the importation, possession, sale or transportation in Connecticut of the African lion, elephant, leopard, and black and white rhinos—all threatened and endangered species. The legislation has been introduced in Connecticut and New York, the busiest port of entry into the U.S., and we plan to introduce it in other states.
Existing federal laws are not protective at all and that’ why Cecil’s Law matters.
On Dec. 21, 2015, the USFWS listed two lion subspecies as endangered and threatened under the Endangered Species Act. But overall the listing continues to promote trophy hunting in that it will allow for the importation of threatened lion species provided they are permitted by the Service as originating from countries with “effective lion conservation programs.”
But in an NBC investigation that aired in Nov. 2015, top former top U.S. officials have questioned America’s ability to vet trophy hunting abroad—admitting monitoring conservation programs in foreign countries is challenging for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.