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California: Protect Wild Animals from Trophy Hunting and Live Market Cruelty!

California: Protect Wild Animals from Trophy Hunting and Live Market Cruelty!

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A bill has been introduced into the California legislature that seeks to prohibit cruel live animal markets and the possession of hunting “trophies” from certain species of African wildlife. 

This bill would ban the sale of frogs, turtles, and certain bird species crowded together in unsanitary and inhumane live animal markets, as well as the importation of live wild animal species that pose a zoonotic disease risk, Additionally, a section of the bill entitled the Iconic African Species Protection Act would ban the possession of body parts from African elephants, black rhinoceros, white rhinoceros, two species of zebras, and several other species. Now is your chance to ensure this bill is passed! 

SB 1175 was introduced in February by California State Senator Henry Stern and sponsored by Social Compassion in Legislation (SCIL), which is partnering with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and WildAid. The bill was originally in response to the federal government’s refusal to protect African species from the cruelties of trophy hunting, but in May, SB 1175 was amended to address the spread of global pandemics which have been linked to selling and butchering wildlife, particularly those animals who are trafficked from the wild and sold in live-animal markets. 

Animals endure harrowing journeys to these markets and are held in cramped, often dirty cages for long periods of time. In the markets, they may be within sight of other animals being slaughtered. These places can be so stressful for animals that they become immune-compromised, which also leads to increased risks of disease transmission to humans. 

Trophy hunting is the barbaric practice of gunning animals down, sometimes in front of their families, only for them to endure painful, often prolonged deaths. Hunting traumatizes those elephants who witness the tragic, violent deaths of their beloved family members and because of their extraordinary memories, they can be haunted by these gruesome images for the rest of their lives. 

As if that isn’t enough, by and large, trophy hunting allows wealthy, mostly white men from Western nations like the United States  to have privileged access to African wildlife, at the expense of not only the animals themselves, but local people, and is therefore considered a form of neocolonialism, or systematic resource control through outside influences. The prohibition against possessing these hunting trophies is intended to reduce the incentive to kill animals for trophies. 

If this much-needed bill is passed into law, individuals, corporations, partnerships, and associations would all be banned from possessing body parts originating from elephants, giraffes, black rhinoceros, white rhinoceros, Jentink's duikers, two species of zebras, hyenas, baboons, pangolins, hippopotamuses, African lions, and leopards. The bill would also prevent the torture and slaughter of thousands of other animals by prohibiting live animal markets.

What YOU Can Do:

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