FEATURED:

House passes anti-poaching bill inspired by Cecil the lion

House passes anti-poaching bill inspired by Cecil the lion
© Getty

Uproar over the killing of a beloved African lion is sparking new efforts in Washington to crackdown on overseas poaching and wildlife trafficking.

ADVERTISEMENT

The House passed the Global Anti-Poaching Act on Monday to increase the penalties for wildlife traffickers, making them comparable to those faced by weapons and drug traffickers. It would also target countries that don’t do enough to stop poaching. 

The bill, sponsored by Reps. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) and Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) gained strong bipartisan support after the killing of Cecil the lion by a U.S. citizen stirred international controversy.

It is one of a number of legislative and regulatory efforts to crackdown on poaching.

The Conserving Ecosystems by Ceasing the Importation of Large (CECIL) Animal Trophies Act introduced in August by Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezTrump lowers refugee goal to 30,000, he must meet it Blame Senate, not FBI, for Kavanaugh travesty Dems urge tech companies to remove 3D-gun blueprints MORE (D-N.J.) would block hunters from importing lion trophies to the U.S. 

The legislation, which has seen little movement in the Senate, is co-sponsored by Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinGOP leaders hesitant to challenge Trump on Saudi Arabia Dem senator: Trump accepts Saudi denials because he is 'enamored' with dictators Saudi mystery drives wedge between Trump, GOP MORE (D-Md.), among others.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is also working on new regulatory protections for lions.

Zimbabwe announced last month it would not prosecute American hunter Walter Palmer, who admitted to killing Cecil the lion.