Pro-Trophy Hunting, Pro-Trapping, Pro-Lead Ammo Bill Sees Action Tomorrow in House Committee

By on October 7, 2015 with 33 Comments By Wayne Pacelle

The timing itself suggests an extraordinary degree of tone-deafness. Just weeks after the Walter Palmer trophy-hunting escapade in Zimbabwe made international headlines, and the day after MSNBC releases a damning anti-trophy hunting documentary called Blood Lions, the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee is poised to provide a legislative gift bag to the trophy-hunting and trapping lobbies.

The Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act of 2015 (H.R. 2406) is about many things, but it is not about helping the rank-and-file sportsman.

In part, it is about appeasing the one percent of hunters who are into international trophy killing – men like Walter Palmer, who fork over big dollars to travel the world and kill the rarest, most majestic creatures. The bill promises a sweetheart deal for 41 trophy hunters pleading for a congressional carve-out to import the trophies of polar bears they previously killed in Canada. These hunters rushed to Canada, despite repeated warnings that they wouldn’t be allowed to bring their kills into the country because of the Bush Administration’s pending “threatened” listing for polar bears under the Endangered Species Act, and paid as much as $50,000 each to hunt these bears in the hope of bringing rare polar bear trophies home. These hunters — many of whom, like Walter Palmer, hunted lions and other majestic species around the globe — believed that they could use their political power to receive a congressional bailout to import these 41 dead polar bears, and many in the House Natural Resources Committee seem intent on proving them right.

After Walter Palmer’s lion-shooting gambit, 44 airlines said they won’t transport trophies from lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos, or Cape buffalo. I imagine that if they got the grisly details of these Arctic-area polar bear hunts, they wouldn’t much want to transport those trophies either. The American public is also overwhelmingly opposed to trophy hunting and trophy imports, according to a new Remington Research Group survey, which found that two thirds of Americans oppose trophy hunting and 74 percent oppose the “canned hunts,” which Blood Lions exposes as the source of so many American trophy hunters’ kills.

This bill is also about poaching – and preventing the government from stopping it. Specifically, the bill seeks to block a rule-making action by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to crack down on the commercial trade in ivory. President Obama announced this provision on his recent trip to Africa, noting that demand for ivory has contributed to an African elephant poaching crisis of epic proportions – more than 100,000 elephants were killed from 2010 to 2012. More recently, Obama and the President of China agreed to collaborate on a plan to stop commercial trade and prevent elephants from going the way of the woolly mammoth. If the SHARE Act passes, it would bring the Administration’s efforts to curb the U.S. ivory trade to a screeching halt. It’s hard to fathom that serious-minded people could support such a provision – and the selfishness of subverting the global community’s effort to crack down on this problem is breathtaking..

The bill has other terrible provisions to promote cruel commercial trapping on federal lands, to bar federal agencies from regulating toxic lead ammunition that poisons wildlife, and to grant bow hunters access to our national parks. The whole bill, with one ugly provision after another, is rotten to its core. But apparently because the NRA and Safari Club International want it, a large number of lawmakers will genuflect and give them what they want.

Some lawmakers, notably Representatives Raúl Grijalva, D-AZ, and Don Beyer, D-VA, are poised to offer amendments during Thursday’s committee markup to remove some of the most heinous language in the bill. It is shocking that, at a time when the House Natural Resources Committee should be protecting endangered species from trophy hunters and helping the United States fight the ivory trade, it is doing precisely the opposite. It is almost surreal, and it is one of the biggest bright-line indicators that the trophy-hunting lobby has captured a major faction of the United States Congress.

Public Policy (Legal/Legislative), Wildlife/Marine Mammals

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  1. Dixie Lee Howe says:

    What a shame! So thankful for HSUS and all you are doing!! Thank you!

  2. Libby Haydel says:

    I’m watching “Blood Lions” right now and it is heartbreaking. Just when you think you’ve seen it all…leave it to humans to come up with more barbaric ways to endanger and terrorize such a beautiful creature.

  3. Kenneth James says:

    This whole concept stinks. Animals have as much right to a good life as any human being.
    Trapping should be totally banned, it is horrid to kill wildlife to feed a sick Chinese hunger for fur. The time for trapping needs to be in the past.

    • Denise N Charles says:

      Totally in Agreement with You.
      Enough is Enough!
      This World is Still Barbaric!
      It is Time to Stand Up for All Animals and Start a Movement Globally!!!

  4. Barbara G. says:

    Lobbyists from these hunting organizations donate thousands of dollars to these politicians they make the rounds to their offices daily to push their agenda. So its no surprise to me that this is happening its the same with horse slaughter this is one of the reasons that horse slaughter can’t be shut down. The House has 160 cosponsors while the Senate is lucky to have the
    original politicians that wrote the bill which is 25 or a few more. I have tried to tell people that it is the US Senate that is paid off by the racing industry, the over breeders along with Quarter Horse Association that makes their money by pushing breeding to collect the registration fees. The wholesale killing of our wildlife is connected to large donations to each and every politician that is pushing bills like 2406.

    • Sheryl S. says:

      Barbara, we HAVE TO FIGHT them! I don’t care if they have a lot of money to lobby… we have much bigger numbers and we need to start putting some time in. Call your representatives. Write! Email! Sign petitions. I do this every day. We need to rise up and say NO MORE! If we don’t it will be too late. Extinct is forever.

  5. Jayne exum says:

    Please do not pass this bill. Our animals deserve better. It’s time to make a change. Do the right thing. Please.

  6. Denise N Charles says:

    Against Hunting & Poaching!

    Take Necessary Measures to Prevent Endangerment and Extinction of ALL Species!

  7. margie anne says:

    This legislation is a slap in the face to the American people, and frankly, the World. Weeks after Cecil was maimed with an arrow, and left to suffer for 40 hours, before being killed by Palmer, our public servants give us legislation that will open up federal land to bow and arrow hunting. Almost comical.

  8. margie anne says:

    Let it be known that every Congressman and woman, every Senator, was made privy to a petition signed by almost 15,000 people, asking that this odious legislation NEVER see the light of day. We are poised yo send our petition, but liberally posted said petition on the walls of every Senator on Facebook. Additionally, a veritable slew of people made calls to their representatives voicing their disgust with this legislation.

    Point being? Our elected officials are quite aware that the vast majority of the American citizens are vehemently opposes to trapping, trophy hunting and bow/ arrow hunting.

    The spotlight is shining on our members of Congress. The correct thing to do, is to kill this bill in Committee.

  9. Marcy says:

    This is horrendous. What is wrong with our Congress !!

  10. Lisa Gillespie-Miller says:

    Trophy hunts are not effective at conservation and they perpetuate violent behavior in humans as well as being an atrocity to the animals & “most” humans.
    Perhaps we should allow clubs for serial killers and pochers to gather and boast.
    The murder of Cecil has brought these issues to a new level of awareness and I believe the majority of society does not approve and thinks it’s disgusting. I know each time I cast a vote it Wont be to anyone who participates, condones, or authorizes, these.


    stop killing innocent animals

  12. maria manuela lopes says:

    Stop the hunt.

  13. maria manuela lopes says:

    Stop that.

  14. Ming Allen says:

    So shocked and appalled that this is going to happen in a so-called civilized society.

  15. jeanette redd says:

    Animals are living beings – not a trophy

  16. David Bernazani says:

    I can’t believe that so soon after the international furor over the killing of Cecil the African lion, the US congress would be so clueless as to even consider this ludicrous Act.
    The United States is supposed to protect the ones that need it, including animals. If the euphemistically named “Sportsmen’s Heritage” act passes, it will be a sad day for the world’s last remaining wildlife, and also for everyone who cares about them. And it would be flaunting American gun-loving arrogance to a world that is already weary of it.

  17. Brenda Blanchard says:

    After the Cecil the lion tragedy, the US should show more compassion to animals. It should not favor pro trophy hunting and ignore people who would like to save the animals for future generations. Pls stop the further assault on animals. Nobody owns them not the rich and privileged who have guns.

  18. J Wiggins says:

    Such corruption with our wildlife. We are racing to extinction. I watched “Blood Lions” and was appalled that these mentally ill people are allowed to get away with this. Leave it to humans to come up with more barbaric ways to endanger our wildlife.

  19. margie anne says:

    SHARE act passed the House Resources committee this morning. Six amendments were proposed. Four of those amendments were added. Please see the website for the House Resources Committee for full markup and details of the six amendments.

  20. margie anne says:

    Seven amendmentz were proposed. Correction.

    Radewagen amendment
    Wittman amendment
    Beyer amendment
    Fleming and Westerman amendment
    Grijaliva amendment
    Huffman amendment
    Gosar amendment

    Four of the proposed amendments passed.

    We ask the Humane society to update its members and the public on those amendments.

    We are all waiting for more information.

    We are reading the amendments now.

    Thank you.

  21. Karin Lee Abraham says:

    I am horrified! I do not recall hearing anything about this bill! No petitions came to me via email or on my Facebook page. I’d have signed in a heartbeat! How could our Congress even consider passing this bill? It is horrible!

    I’m just in shock that our politicians would totally IGNORE the voices of their constituents! Oh not in the kind of shock that comes from naivete but the shock that comes from understanding the reality of a situation but just not believing it’s even possible that a human being would even *want* to go so far, let alone actually GOING SO FAR!

    I now wish I would have seen this on Wednesday October 7 instead of today. Maybe I could have helped do something ahead of the vote to stop it. I sure would like to be kept up to date of its progress. I do NOT want this to even cross our President’s desk, but if it does we need to get him to veto it.

  22. Claudia says:

    Let us safe out polar bears !!

  23. Jill Robinson says:

    This is all about corruption. The hunting fraternity is paying big bucks to those in power. Those in power see no further than the big bucks. I would also suggest that the majority of those in power have never nor ever will, be that interested in wildlife protection. The new trend in the USA is to vote in a President who has never held a political position. At least (for the moment) maybe they will make some changes that the PEOPLE want and not be bribed by minority groups like the SCI. One can only hope that is the case. The world is fed up with the US dictating what they want and what they will do. Really – we don’t give a sh*t what the US wants. This is a country that has lost it’s ability to to the right moral thing for the people never mind wildlife. SCI and random hunters need to be shut down. They are causing more harm than good across the planet.

  24. Mariko sato says:

    Stop hunting.

  25. Samme Chittum says:

    I am outraged at this betrayal of the majority of the American people, who do not support trophy hunting.

  26. mary keene says:

    All because of the power of money, this planet will end up extinct of many beautiful creatures that should be here for all eyes to enjoy. Humans can be such a destructive animal.

  27. Sally Palmer says:

    This is horrifying, and the fight never ends, but it saves my sanity to know that people fought to minimize the damage, and that HSUS along with other leaders in animal rights will provide guidance on ways to try to further reduce the impact.

  28. Holly Clark says:

    Please ask people to share this blog. I posted on our page and asked people to share it. Here is our page

  29. Bernard Cizelj says:

    I wonder to know when people will stop killing this wonderful wildlife……why we are so violent, primitive?

  30. Craig Hiler says:

    Hard to believe there’s such a vile thing as trophy hunting of animals and subhumans that condone it. Wouldn’t even be a debate if it weren’t for the money/lobbyists. Just sickening.

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