Sportsmen are working against a trophy hunting ban proposed in two northeast states.
The state legislatures of Connecticut and New York are both debating a proposed trophy hunting ban that would end a person’s ability to import African trophy animals into their states.
Both bills would seek to eliminate the importation of four specific species; lions, leopards, elephants, and rhinos. Over the past 10 years, roughly 4,000 of these species have entered through New York.
These bills are in reaction to the Cecil the lion saga that played out in 2015.
In reality the Connecticut trophy hunting ban would only be effective if the New York law would pass. The reason is that New York contains the entry point for international travel. If animals were allowed to enter New York, then the Connecticut ban would not be as effective.
Although the bills have been officially introduced opposition in the states is working as well. The Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen is working against the ban citing a mountain of evidence the ban would actually hurt the animal populations they are meant to protect.
“All these trophy fees go into law enforcement in the African areas to prevent poaching,” says Bob Crook, leader of the Connecticut coalition. “It’s a loss to the African nations, it’s a loss to the Connecticut hunters who want to go there.”
In other words, if people in America want people in Africa to tolerate these animals, there has to be incentive to keep them around.
A ban in these two states would not totally eliminate the ability for sportsmen to travel and harvest trophy animals. They would still be able to import their trophies to other states within the US.
Whatever the states decide, it is clear the debate over trophy hunting is still working its course in America.