WASHINGTON—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement to commemorate World Wildlife Conservation Day:
"Poaching and the illegal wildlife trade are fueling threats to global security and wiping out the world's most iconic creatures. Today, we’re at a crossroads. In one direction is a world in which future generations will only read about tigers, rhinos, and elephants in their history books. In the other, we take a stand to stop the senseless killing of these animals and to disrupt the criminal networks profiting for their slaughter.
"We can move in the right direction by getting the Global Anti-Poaching Act to the President's desk, and I urge my Senate colleagues to take quick action and get this bill across the finish line. A year from today, on the next World Wildlife Conservation Day, it would be a tragedy if Congress has failed to do our part to protect these precious species and crack down on those wiping them out."
The House of Representatives passed the Global Anti-Poaching Act, H.R. 2494, in November. This legislation would strengthen regional Wildlife Enforcement Networks designed to combat poaching and "name and shame" governments that aren’t taking this problem seriously. Critically, it would also bring wildlife trafficking under existing money-laundering and racketeering statutes and allow us to provide non-lethal assistance to help professionalize wildlife law-enforcement units on the ground.