Energy & Environment

House passes anti-poaching bill inspired by Cecil the lion

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

{mosads}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 Menendez (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 Cardin (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.

Tags Ben Cardin Bob Menendez Richard Blumenthal

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