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Bill 'protecting' African game animals is ill conceived

Each year several representatives propose legislation to prohibit the transport or possession of parts of six animals from Africa (Senate Bill 925 this year). This bill is an unnecessary waste of legislators’ time and our money. The list of priorities that we need to address is quite long. Protecting African wildlife should not be on the legislative agenda.

The proposal ignores decades of research compiled by experts around the world. The biggest threat to these African game animals is illegal poaching. Africans rely heavily on the money spent by hunters to fund the conservation programs and law enforcement needed to protect these animals. Discouraging hunters by banning the possession of newly obtained trophies ultimately will help the poachers and further endanger the animals that this legislation purports to protect.

It is presumptuous for local politicians to believe that they know how to protect animals in Africa better than the experts. Each of us needs to call or email our representatives to ask that they focus on issues that matter to our state residents. I urge the majority of our legislators to resist the pressure exerted by the proponents of this bill and to reject this ill-advised legislation.

Bob Weber



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