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House of Representatives Passes Global Anti-Poaching Act

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House of Representatives Passes Global Anti-Poaching Act

Posted by Enough Team on November 3, 2015

House of Representatives Passes Global Anti-Poaching Act

The Enough Project commends the House of Representatives for passing H.R. 2494, the Global Anti-Poaching Act, on Monday November 2nd.

This important legislation, if signed into law, would create real consequences on atrocity perpetrators sustaining themselves through wildlife trafficking by taking steps such as making wildlife trafficking a predicate offense for money laundering, and supporting the professionalization countries’ wildlife law enforcement rangers.

The Enough Project is grateful for the leadership and support of House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) and Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-NY) for their tireless efforts to curb the illicit trade, including through their participation in Enough’s “The Illicit Ivory Trade and Joseph Kony: An Inside Look at Wildlife Trafficking Networks Fueling Mass Atrocities” event on Capitol Hill on October 27.  The Enough Project additionally thanks Representative Ted Poe (R-TX) who spoke in support of this bill on the House Floor yesterday.

As Chairman Royce has stated:

““The very disturbing reality is that some of the world’s most majestic animals have become ‘blood currency’ for rebel groups and terrorist organizations in Africa.”

The release put out by the Foreign Affairs Committee notes that the legislation

  • requires the Secretary of State to identify the foreign countries determined to be a major source, transit point, or consumer of wildlife trafficking products and make a special designation for those countries that have “failed demonstrably” in adhering to international agreements on endangered or threatened species (the Secretary of State is authorized to withhold certain assistance from countries that have received this special designation);
  • puts wildlife trafficking in the same category as weapons trafficking and drug trafficking, making it a liable offense for money laundering and racketeering, and requires fines, forfeitures, and restitution received to be transferred to federal conservation and anti-poaching efforts;
  • presses the Administration to continue to provide security assistance to African countries for counter-wildlife-trafficking efforts;
  • expands wildlife enforcement networks to help partner countries strengthen coordination and share information and intelligence on illegal wildlife trafficking on a regional basis;
  • supports increased professionalization of partner countries’ wildlife law enforcement rangers on the front lines of the fight against poachers, who are often armed with night-vision goggles, heavy weaponry, and even helicopters.

Rebel groups and terrorist organizations named in H.R. 2494, including Sudan’s Janjaweed militia, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), and the Séléka rebel movement in the Central African Republic, are all connected to wildlife trafficking networks – as noted in a recent Enough Project report, “Tusk Wars: Inside the LRA and Bloody Business of Ivory.” These groups are notorious for committing human rights violations including murder, rape, widespread abductions of children and adults, large-scale massacres, and the pillaging of various natural resources. The atrocities they commit contribute to the instability of a turbulent region and the spread of conflict across borders.

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