On Wednesday, the Senate recalled Senate Bill 4686, sponsored by Senator Tony Avella (D-11). This move should successfully block this harmful bill from passing the Legislature as lawmakers enter the final hours of the 2015 session. The bill, backed by animal “rights” groups, would ban the importation, possession, sale or transportation of the “Big Five African Species” to include hunting trophies. 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 has actively opposed this legislation as it would prevent hunters in New York from participating in legal hunting activity and bringing home their trophies. It would also have 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.