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EIA Statement on the Wildlife Conservation and Anti-Trafficking Act of 2019 (H.R. 864)

EIA Statement on the Wildlife Conservation and Anti-Trafficking Act of 2019 (H.R. 864)

The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) strongly supports the Wildlife Conservation and Anti-Trafficking Act of 2019 (H.R. 864) – introduced today by Representatives John Garamendi (D-CA) and Don Young (R-AK). This bill will further establish the leadership of the United States in the global fight against wildlife crime by providing new tools to the United States Government to combat wildlife trafficking and illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, while also enhancing existing wildlife protections and conservation programs.

If enacted, this bipartisan legislation will designate wildlife trafficking as a predicate offense for racketeering and violations of the Travel Act; it also will direct the penalties and fines derived from these crimes to support conservation of the species affected. The bill contains similar provisions for IUU fishing, institutes a process to reward whistleblowers for sounding off on wildlife crimes, and authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to station U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service law enforcement attachés in embassies located in countries identified as wildlife trafficking hotspots.

“The illegal wildlife trade is a multi-billion-dollar industry that is decimating countless species around the globe, and that also extracts a heavy toll on the rangers, law enforcement officers, prosecutors, judges, and other dedicated conservationists putting their lives on the line to protect our world’s most imperiled species,” said Taylor Tench, Policy Analyst at EIA. “We urge Congress to swiftly pass the bipartisan Wildlife Conservation and Anti-Trafficking Act so that the United States continues to lead by example when it comes to combating wildlife trafficking and other environmental crimes.”