The U.S. House of Representatives tonight passed by voice vote H.R. 2494, the Global Anti-Poaching Act. The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society Legislative Fund applaud Reps. Ed Royce, R-Calif., and Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., for their leadership on this important legislation to combat wildlife trafficking. Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, released the following statement.

“This bipartisan bill provides additional tools and resources to curb illegal killing of some of the world’s most iconic and at-risk species and trafficking in their parts. Poaching is a global crisis, and the world needs U.S. leadership on the issue.”

This legislation is a vital matter for global security, since illegal wildlife trafficking has become a key source of revenue for terrorist groups. It will help the United States and partner countries counter the terrorist organizations, rebel groups and international criminal syndicates that are profiting from international wildlife trafficking. Illegal trafficking in wildlife and wildlife parts is fueling an international poaching crisis that has reached epidemic proportions. The risk of extinction in the wild for some of our most iconic species looms unless strong action is taken.

The Global Anti-Poaching Act would strengthen law enforcement’s tools to address this problem by making wildlife trafficking violations (where the products involved have a total value of more than $10,000) predicate offenses under the Travel Act, Money Laundering and RICO statutes. It would also authorize the President to provide security assistance to African countries for counter-wildlife-trafficking efforts, and pressure countries that are failing in their commitment to end wildlife trafficking to step up their efforts.

The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society Legislative Fund urge the Senate to take up and pass this legislation, and also urge the Obama Administration to finalize a separate rule closing loopholes to address the domestic trade in ivory.

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