HSUS, IFAW, SAPL: Congress to Vote on Trophy Hunting of Polar Bears TOMORROW!

June 25th, 2007 7:20 pm by Kelly Garbato

UPDATE, 6/28/07, via the HSUS:

I am sorry to report that the Inslee-LoBiondo amendment failed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 188-242 late yesterday. This amendment sought to halt funding for one year for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to issue permits for the importation of sport-hunted polar bear trophies. Too many lawmakers caved in to the NRA and Safari Club International, and that provided the margin of defeat.

Click here to see how your Representative, voted: https://community.hsus.org/ct/V1S7Mss1RXhl/

If the vote was “AYE” please make a short polite phone call to (202) 225-2865 to say thanks. If the vote was “NO,” let your Representative know you are disappointed.

Thank you for your efforts to protect polar bears from trophy hunting. We have had some victories and some setbacks on this issue. Last week, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved a funding cut for polar bear trophy imports. We will continue to press forward to include this funding cut in the final Interior Appropriations bill, and to pass the Polar Bear Protection Act, which will permanently ban polar bear trophy imports. Click here to urge your members of Congress to co-sponsor this important animal protection legislation: https://community.hsus.org/campaign/FED_2007_polar_bear_trophy2/

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Currently I have three emails in my inbox pertaining to tomorrow’s vote on the loophole that allows for the importation of polar bear trophies from Canada into the US. I’ll post all of them below, and update this post as needed with any new developments/alerts.

Humane Society of the United States: Help Polar Bears Pass the House

At a time when polar bears are facing multiple threats, including from global warming, we should minimize human-caused forms of mortality. Sport hunting of adults can cause a catastrophic population crash, because sport hunters target the largest and most fit animals and are not always able to distinguish females from males in the field. The animals that are targeted may be critical to ensuring the survival of polar bear populations already under stress from climate change and habitat degradation.

An amendment to the Interior Appropriations bill—the Inslee-LoBiondo Amendment—has been introduced which would restrict the use of funds for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to issue the necessary permits for the importation of sport hunted polar bear trophies. The amendment would discourage trophy hunters from killing polar bears because they couldn’t bring the heads and hides into the U.S. This is a major legislative opportunity, passage of which would effectively put a stop to importation of polar bear trophies into the United States. [Click here to read more and take action.]

International Fund for Animal Welfare: Protect Polar Bears From Trophy Hunters

Even though numerous studies show the effects of warming temperatures on declining polar bear populations and ice habitats — from drowning and starving to reports of cannibalism among bears – the US government still supports the importation of polar bear heads and hides that are killed for sport in Canada by US sport hunters. This is due to a loophole in the law that sport hunters pushed through a number of years ago and must now be closed.

Please contact your representative and urge him or her to support the Inslee-LoBiondo Amendment to the Interior Appropriations bill that would stop funding for the US Fish and Wildlife Service to issue permits for the importation of sport-hunted polar bear trophies.

Society for Animal Protective Legislation: Your Help is Needed Urgently: Please Tell Your US Representative to Vote for Polar Bears!

The US House of Representatives is slated to vote TOMORROW on an amendment to the House Interior Appropriations bill that would prohibit the import of sport-hunted polar bear trophies into the United States. Introduced by Representatives Jay Inslee (D-WA) and Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), the measure would stop funding for the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s issuing of permits for the importation of sport-hunted polar bear trophies.

While Americans have not traditionally been allowed to import polar bear trophies under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, in 1994, Congress created a loophole that allows their trophies to be brought in from Canada. More than 800 import permits have been issued in the years following its implementation. Polar bears are already imperiled due to melting ice floes in their Arctic habitats, and with an annual loss of approximately 14,000 square miles of sea ice, many scientists predict these animals could become extinct within the next century.

A measure similar to the House amendment was approved by a Senate committee last week, and we need your help to ensure legislators vote to discourage American trophy hunters from traveling to Canada to shoot polar bears. [Click here to read more and take action.]

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