April 12, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu, Congressman Rodney Davis, Congressman Glenn Thompson and Congresswoman Ann Kuster introduced H.R. 2264, the Bear Protection Act. The bill seeks to prohibit the import, export, possession, transport and sale of bear organs. Allowing commercial bear poaching for their organs puts them at risk for inhumane treatment. In California, it is already unlawful to sell or purchase the meat, skin, hide, teeth, claws, or other parts of any bear.

Congressman Lieu is a member of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) Working Group and the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus.

Upon introduction, Mr. Lieu said:

“Poaching has been driving the world’s bear populations toward extinction and now is the time to take action. We have a real opportunity to work on a bipartisan basis to protect these majestic animals from further harm.”

Upon introduction, Ms. Kuster said:

“As a proud member of the Animal Protection Caucus, I am deeply troubled by revelations that bears in the United States are being poached for internal organs. The demand for these organs has already devastated bear populations in Asia, and we must protect our bears in the United States. I am pleased to join my colleagues to introduce this legislation that will proactively protect our bears by banning the trade and transport of these bear organs.”

Upon Introduction, Mr. Thompson said:

“As a lifelong sportsman, poaching and illegally harvesting animal parts can never be tolerated. Black bear parts, specifically paws and gall bladders, are being unlawfully harvested and sold, largely in foreign markets.  Enacting this legislation will encourage healthy black bear populations and an end to these illegal and inhumane practices.”

Upon Introduction, Mr. Davis said:

“This legislation will proactively help protect dwindling bear population in our country and ensure they are around for future generations. I am proud to join my colleagues to bring an end to the inhumane practice of poaching and selling bear parts.”

Support for H.R. 2264, the Bear Protection Act:

Holly Gann, Director of Federal Affairs at Animal Wellness Action - "We applaud Reps. Ted Lieu and Rodney Davis for joining together to crack down on the killing of bears for their gall bladders. Killing these magnificent animals for a single body part is cruel and wasteful and the Congress should exercise its authority to put a stop to it."

This bill is supported by Animal Wellness Action and Defenders of Wildlife.