On Monday, November 2nd, the House of Representatives passed the Global Anti-Poaching Act (H.R. 2494)! This important legislation provides the United States with more robust tools to address the global poaching crisis. Advancing through the House is a fantastic step, but more work remains to be done.
The Global Anti-Poaching Act gives the United States the authority to strengthen Wildlife Enforcement Networks, designate countries with severe poaching problems and withhold assistance from those countries, provide security assistance to combat poaching, and increase the severity and punishments of wildlife crimes.
Tigers for Tigers has been actively supporting this bill since it was introduced by Congressmen Ed Royce (R-CA) and Eliot Engel (D-NY) in May of this year. When T4T members travelled to Washington, D.C., in June, the Global Anti-Poaching Act was one of several pieces of legislation our members urged their Congressmen to support. On July 29th, our Global Tiger Day social media campaign centered on writing letters to Congress to cosponsor the bill.
While six months may seem like a long time, the Global Anti-Poaching Act moved through the House relatively quickly compared to most legislation. This is in large part due to the advocacy of private citizens, conservation organizations like T4T, and the bipartisan nature of the issue. Congress understands the importance of protecting these endangered, charismatic species not just from an ecological standpoint, but from a national security perspective as well. It has been well documented that poaching allows criminal networks and terrorist organizations to fund their activities. These groups generate political and civil instability in nations around the world, hampering sustainable development and infringing upon basic human rights, which directly violates American strategic economic and political interests.
While passing the House is great news, the bill has not reached the finish line yet. The next step for the Global Anti-Poaching Act is to pass the Senate. Once this happens, President Obama must sign the bill into law. T4T will continue to support this legislation by urging the Senate to pass the bill.
You can take action to support the Global Anti-Poaching Act today by writing to your Senators today.