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Congress Passes Historic Bill to “Eliminate, Neutralize and Disrupt Wildlife Trafficking”

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Congress Passes Historic Bill to “Eliminate, Neutralize and Disrupt Wildlife Trafficking”

Posted by Enough Team on September 21, 2016

 

Enough Project applauds bipartisan effort in House and Senate to protect elephants, rhinos, and other endangered species facing extinction from out-of-control poaching by violent armed groups and international traffickers

September 21, 2016 (Washington, DC) – Today Congress passed critical legislation to protect elephants, rhinos and other endangered species from a sophisticated international poaching and trafficking trade that is decimating animal populations worldwide and funding armed groups. HR 2494, the “Eliminate, Neutralize and Disrupt Wildlife Trafficking Act of 2016” passed in the House today, following passage in the Senate last Thursday.

Kathryn Bigelow, Academy Award-winning director/producer (“The Hurt Locker,” “Zero Dark Thirty”), and creator of the film “Last Days,” about the slaughter of elephants and terrorism, said, “This is an important victory for elephants and other species under threat of extinction. We are rapidly losing magnificent species all over the world. What’s worse, that loss is to the benefit of some of the most violent militias and state regimes on the planet. These trafficking networks are becoming more and more sophisticated. We need to keep up.”

Holly Dranginis, Senior Policy Analyst at the Enough Project, said: “We are entering a new era of conservation. We have no choice but to recognize that wildlife poaching is synonymous with violent organized crime and large-scale, transnational corruption. This law is crucial because it responds to that reality. It combines conservation, law enforcement, and financial pressure tools in a powerful cocktail to finally address this problem as a complex global crisis. Poaching levels are off the charts so the law will need swift implementation for it to slow the tide of extinction. But in its final months, this is an intervention the Obama administration can very be proud of.”

Ian Schwab, Director of Advocacy and Impact Strategy at the Enough Project, said: "The slaughter of elephants and other wildlife trafficking is both a human and environmental disaster. The proceeds of these crimes fund armed groups including the Lord's Resistance Army. Congressional champions from both parties and both chambers worked together and created comprehensive legislation that recognizes the international networks essential in wildlife crimes by making wildlife trafficking a predicate offense under anti money laundering statutes."

Rachel Finn, Advocacy Manager at the Enough Project, said: "Countering human rights abuses and mass atrocities requires a sustained effort to dismantle the sources of funding allowing perpetrators to carry out their operations. As ivory trafficking has been documented as a source of financing for many such perpetrators in central and east Africa, we are thrilled that a bill, supported across the aisle, has passed Congress to tackle this challenge. HR 2494 creates real consequences for those involved in these illicit networks, and its passage is a strong, critical step in the right direction."

Link to HR 2494: https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/2494

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact: Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, +1 310 717 0606gh@enoughproject.org.

About THE ENOUGH PROJECT
The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention policy group, seeks to build leverage for peace and justice in Africa by helping to create real consequences for the perpetrators and facilitators of genocide and other mass atrocities. Enough aims to counter rights-abusing armed groups and violent kleptocratic regimes that are fueled by grand corruption, transnational crime and terror, and the pillaging and trafficking of minerals, ivory, diamonds, and other natural resources. Enough conducts field research in conflict zones, develops and advocates for policy recommendations, supports social movements in affected countries, and mobilizes public campaigns. Learn more – and join us – at www.EnoughProject.org.