U.S. Senate Passes the END Wildlife Trafficking Act

September 16, 2016

Photo Credit: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

Thank you for speaking out! The U.S. Senate has passed the End Wildlife Trafficking Act, a bill that represents progress on the strengthening of U.S. laws to target wildlife traffickers.

Currently, criminals who illegally kill an elephant, tiger, or other endangered animal, can slip through the cracks. This bill, which now goes back to the House of Representatives for final passage, would help close the gap, bolstering wildlife trafficking law enforcement and increasing support for wildlife rangers, including the transfer of military equipment for ranger use.

The bipartisan charge to pass it was led by Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) and Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ). The authorization for prosecutors to use wildlife crime as a predicate offense for money laundering prosecutions was included with the help of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC).

"The U.S. can play an important role in stopping this serious transnational crime," said John Calvelli, WCS Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Director of the 96 Elephants Campaign, "and we applaud this bipartisan effort, led by Senators Coons and Flake. It can ensure that the U.S. government is able to assist foreign governments that truly want to tackle this crisis. The bill will also help to better equip wildlife enforcement units in key countries, while helping to ensure that U.S. foreign assistance is targeted where it will truly make a difference."

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