WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), both members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statements after the committee unanimously passed the END Wildlife Trafficking Act to combat the rapidly growing crisis of wildlife trafficking.
“Demand for wildlife products has spiked in recent years, causing illegal wildlife trafficking to grow at an alarming rate,” said Senator Coons. “Wildlife trafficking is not just an environmental challenge, but a multi-billion dollar industry that fuels well-organized criminal networks. It is a growing crisis that demands action now, and I’m pleased this committee came together to pass our legislation that will use an interagency approach to address this problem from all sides. We cannot wait any longer to use every tool at our disposal to curb this global crisis.”
“It’s going to take more than a one-size-fits-all approach to end wildlife trafficking,” said Senator Flake. “This bill will address threats posed by poachers and traffickers on a country-by-country basis, and it will send a message to poachers, traffickers, and to those who create the demand fueling these horrific acts that the United States Congress takes this matter seriously.”
The END Wildlife Trafficking Act supports the ongoing work of the Presidential Task Force on Combating Wildlife Trafficking and directs the Task Force to coordinate relevant agencies and U.S. missions in working with countries experiencing wildlife crime to develop strategic plans with recommendations for how each country can combat threats to wildlife.
The END Wildlife Trafficking Act would: