Sending Office: Committee on Natural Resources
Sent By:

        Request for Cosponsor(s)

Endorsements: Center for Biological Diversity, Born Free USA, Animal Welfare Institute

Cosponsors: Boyle, Cartwright, Lowenthal, Lynch, Moulton, Norton


Dear Colleague,

Please join me in cosponsoring the CECIL Act, a bill that restricts the importation of sport-hunted species that have been proposed for listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

The killing of Cecil – an African lion that was lured out of protected territory in Zimbabwe, shot with an arrow and tracked for nearly 2 days before he was finally slaughtered – in 2015 caused understandable outrage among the American public. Despite that
event, former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke loosened trophy hunting standards, prioritized weakened ESA enforcement and founded the widely criticized International Wildlife Conservation Council.

Species that are so severely at risk that they have been proposed for Endangered Species Listing should be off limits to trophy hunters. Protecting threatened and endangered species is not just the right thing to do; the health of ecosystems is dependent
upon it.

The Conserving Ecosystems by Ceasing the Importation of Large (CECIL) Animal Trophies Act will:

  • Extend trophy import and export protections for species listed under the Endangered Species Act to include those “proposed for listing.” Strengthening the ESA in this
    way would prevent the rush to take animal trophies before a listing is finalized, such as the one that happened when polar bears were proposed to be listed as threatened in 2008;
  • Require that any wildlife imports to the U.S. enhance the conservation of the species in the country in which they were hunted;
  • Direct the Government Accountability Office to identify what evidence, if any, exists to support the idea that trophy hunting in foreign countries contributes to wildlife conservation and recommend reforms for the industry based on its findings;
  • Require the Secretary of the Interior to produce new enhancement findings with public comment and prohibit the imports of elephants and lions from Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and Zambia, to address the Trump administration’s overturning of Obama-era rules;
  • Require trophy importers to cover the full costs of the FWS trophy hunting import program;
  • Strengthen language in the ESA mandating public notice in the Federal Register when an exemption or permit application for endangered or threatened species has been filed; and
  • Terminate the Trump Administration-created International Wildlife Conservation Council.

Change from last Congress: this version of the CECIL act expands the requirements for determining whether trophy hunting enhances the conservation of that species in the country in which the trophy hunting occurs.

To cosponsor the CECIL Animal Trophies Act or obtain a copy of the bill, please contact 



Raúl M. Grijalva

Chair, Committee on Natural Resources

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Foreign Affairs, Natural Resources

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