Illegal wildlife trafficking is the fifth most lucrative criminal industry behind drugs, counterfeiting, humans, and oil.
Recently, a bipartisan bill, S. 27, Wildlife Trafficking Enforcement Act of 2015, was introduced by Senators Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.
What is a bill?
The “S.” in “S. 27” means this is a Senate bill in the United States Congress. For a bill to become law, it has to be passed by both the House and Senate and then signed by the President.
What does this bill propose?
S. 27 would increase the penalties for major wildlife trafficking violations against the Endangered Species Act of 1973, the African Elephant Conservation Act, and the Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Act of 1994. Violators would be subject to increased fines and years of imprisonment.
This anticrime bill would help authorities take the profits out of wildlife trafficking and shut down the international crime syndicates who are behind this trade. Funds generated from the penalties would be used for the benefit and conservation of impacted species.
Currently, wildlife crime is estimated to be worth between $7 – 10 billion annually to criminals.
Why should you care?
As the one species who can understand what is happening in the world and why it’s happening, protecting this earth and all the species on it is our responsibility.
By not protecting species who are being slaughtered, we are giving organized crime free reign, allowing them to take over certain areas of the world for their own bloody greed and use the money from trafficking to fund terrorist groups.
In other words, it’s not just about saving animals. It’s about keeping our world safe.
What can you do to help?
Show your support of S. 27. Visit World Wildlife Fund to send a letter to your state’s senator asking him or her to cosponsor this important bill.
Scroll down a bit to the third action, Put an End to Wildlife Crime. This will take you to a pre-written letter that will be sent to your state’s senator once you fill out your information.
Then, if you have an extra second, share the link on your Facebook and/or Twitter accounts. The more people we can mobilize to stand up for endangered species, the better.
Together, we can stamp out wildlife crime.