The NRA recently led the charge to defeat New York Senate Bill 4686, an anti-hunting bill backed by animal “rights” groups. The bill would have banned the importation, possession, sale or transportation of the “Big Five African Species” to include hunting trophies. The bill defined the “Big Five African Species” as the African elephant, African lion, African leopard, black rhinoceros and white rhinoceros. In the final rush of the legislative session, the bill received a favorable Senate vote on June 17. However, Senate leadership quickly realized the misguided proposal in the bill, and the Senate vote was reconsidered. Within hours, the bill’s passage was cancelled. There was never a companion bill in the New York Assembly. The bill is dead and the legislative session has adjourned.
Earlier this month, the Senate recalled Senate Bill 4686, sponsored by Senator Tony Avella (D-11). According to the bill’s definition, the “Big Five African Species” means the African elephant, African lion, African leopard, black rhinoceros and white rhinoceros.
The NRA actively opposed the legislation as it would have prevent hunters in New York from participating in legal hunting activity and bringing home their trophies. It would have also had a deleterious impact on these species by restricting sportsmen who are willing to invest tens of thousands of dollars for these hunts. This money is a critical component of wildlife conservation efforts in Africa. Furthermore, the importation of these trophies (like any species listed under CITES Appendix I, II, or III) is already strictly regulated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) in accordance with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species and Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
The NRA supports efforts to conserve all wildlife species and to stop poaching, but the proposed ban of the import, possession, sale or transportation in New York of lawfully obtained “Big Five African Species” would not affect illegal activity in Africa.