Sportsmen's Act Takes Another Shot at Wildlife

On October 7, the House Natural Resources Committee voted to advance HR 2406, the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act, which presents a clear assault on wildlife both at home and abroad. The current House version of this recurring bill is even more extreme than its Senate counterpart (S 405, the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act), and is little more than a grab bag of troubling measures that jeopardize already fragile ecosystems and animal welfare.

A significant portion of the mark-up focused on language to undercut the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s proposed regulations to place additional limits on the sale and trade of ivory—despite the fact that these regulations are vital, given that the United States is the second-largest market for ivory in the world. Among the bill’s numerous other harmful components are provisions expanding the use of brutal body-gripping traps on public lands and facilitating trophy hunting of imperiled species.

SHARE Act proponents defeated amendments from two strong advocates of animal welfare. Ranking Member Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) proposed striking the overreaching ivory provisions from the bill. Special interest groups, including the National Rifle Association, have lobbied against tougher ivory restrictions despite exemptions in the proposed regulations for instruments, firearms, and antiques that contain ivory. An amendment by Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) would have effectively replaced the entire bill with new language promoting genuine conservation measures.

AWI will continue working with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to ensure that these bills once again fail to reach the president’s desk, and that harmful provisions are stripped from both House and Senate versions of the bill before they reach the floor.

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