Silver Spring, MD – Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the “Eliminate, Neutralize, and Disrupt (END) Wildlife Trafficking Act,” clearing the legislation for President Barack Obama’s signature. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and its members applaud the passage of this legislation that will help combat poaching and wildlife trafficking.
“AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums are working closely with government and international partners to raise awareness about the wildlife trafficking crisis,” said Kris Vehrs, Interim President and CEO of AZA. “By passing this legislation, the U.S. government has taken strong and urgent action that will make a huge difference for elephants, rhinos and other trafficked species. I congratulate Senators Jeff Flake and Chris Coons and Representatives Ed Royce and Eliot Engel, along with all of the cosponsors, for their diligence to get this legislation through Congress.”
The END Wildlife Trafficking Act will help wildlife law enforcement personnel by providing them with additional tools and resources that they need to apprehend, prosecute, and convict wildlife criminals. The legislation will increase the capacity of wildlife law enforcement and customs and border security officers in focus countries, mandate a report by the Secretary of State about major wildlife trafficking countries, and make wildlife trafficking violations a predicate offense for money laundering prosecutions.
AZA and its members have been working for years with government and non-profit partners to help raise awareness with the public about wildlife trafficking and the devastating impact it has on endangered species in the United States and around the globe.
AZA is also a member of the U.S. Wildlife Trafficking Alliance, a voluntary coalition of non-profit organizations, companies, foundations and media interests that work closely with the U.S. government in a collaboration to reduce the purchase and sale of illegal wildlife products in the United States. You can learn more about USWTA at http://wildlifetraffickingalliance.org/.
Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, animal welfare, education, science, and recreation. AZA is the accrediting body for the top zoos and aquariums in the United States and eight other countries. Look for the AZA accreditation logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. Members of AZA are leaders in saving species and your link to helping animals all over the world. To learn more, visit www.aza.org.
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