May 8, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON – On Tuesday, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D-Los Angeles County) and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), along with Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) and Congressman Jerry McNerney (D-CA) introduced the Prohibiting Threatened and Endangered Creature Trophies (ProTECT) Act. This legislation would amend the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to prohibit the taking of any endangered or threatened species in the United States as a trophy and the importation of any such trophy into the United States.

Upon introduction of this legislation, Mr. Lieu said:

“Fueling the trade of trophies, ivory, and horns is selfish as much as it is cruel. Efforts to conserve wildlife and combat wildlife trafficking must remain a priority in Congress. This is why Congressman Sheila Jackson Lee and I introduced the ProTECT Act, which would end the senseless killings of endangered and threatened species listed under the ESA.”

Upon introduction of this legislation, Ms. Jackson Lee said:

“Today, in partnership with Congressman Ted Lieu, I introduced legislation to keep rare and threatened species safe from senseless trophy hunting. The “Prohibiting Threatened and Endangered Creature Trophies Act of 2018” (ProTECT Act) amends the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973 to prohibit the taking of any endangered species or threatened species of wildlife or fish in the United States as a trophy and the importation of any such trophy into the United States.

“The ProTECT Act of 2018 ensures that all acts of senseless and perilous trophy killings are prohibited under the Endangered Species Act. I was in Africa when the iconic Cecil the Lion, was murdered for sport. It is a disgrace that this act was committed by an American – with his lack of respect for these wondrous animals and the preservation of our wildlife reverberating across the world.  With growing support and awareness of the need to protect ecosystem and a greater need for compassion of animal welfare issues, we hope that this legislative effort will be signed into law by the President, rescinding his pro-trophy hunting directive from March of this year.”

Support for the Prohibiting Threatened and Endangered Creature Trophies (ProTECT) Act:

“Born Free USA commends Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee and Ted Lieu for introducing the ProTECT Act. The ProTECT Act affirms what Born Free has long maintained: trophy hunting is a blood-sport, not a method of wildlife conservation. We welcome the introduction of this important legislation, which not only seeks to put into place important protections for wildlife, but also reflects the opinion of the vast majority of Americans who oppose trophy hunting.” – Prashant K. Khetan, CEO & General Counsel of Born Free USA

“The ProTECT Act will ensure imperiled wildlife are protected, not killed for their horns or other parts to become mere decorations.  We applaud Reps. Lieu and Jackson Lee for leading congressional efforts to end rewarding cruel and misguided trophy hunting of these majestic animals.” – Sara Amundson, President of the Humane Society Legislative Fund

“Friends of Animals has long been pushing for a ban on trophy hunting as an important protection for wildlife and has introduced legislation on a state level in Connecticut and New York – the largest port for trophies in the U.S. – to ban the import of the body parts of Africa’s majestic Big 5 species,’’ said FoA President Priscilla Feral. “If the world’s threatened and endangered species, which includes lions, leopards and rhinos – are going to survive, lawmakers must support the ProTECT Act. This federal legislation will go a long way to end a blood sport practiced by a dwindling number of hunters and safeguard our sentient wildlife. We are heartened Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee and Ted Lieu recognize that killing is not conservation and are acting to send a message that America does not condone this demoralizing cruelty.” – Priscilla Feral, President of Friends of Animals

Additional Background:

Under President Obama, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) published a final rule revising the African Elephant rule under section 4(d) of the ESA. The rule prohibited the export and import of African elephant ivory with exceptions and limited the number of sport-hunted African elephant trophies imported into the United States. The Trump Administration lifted this near-complete ban earlier this year. In an internal memo dated in March, USFWS indicated it would review importation permits on a case by case basis.