California Governor Vetoes African Big Game Restrictions
October 1, 2018
“The Wild Sheep Foundation is very supportive of this decision by the California Governor,” said Wild Sheep Foundation (WSF) President and CEO Gray N. Thornton. “We view legislation like this as a slippery slope that could ultimately lead to the ban on importation of all legally harvested wildlife into the United States. Such bans could include wild sheep which depend on sustainable use hunting which is a low ecological impact but high revenue impact to the wild sheep resource and its conservation” Thornton added.
The bill targeted 10 African species, with the bill authors disregarding science and professional wildlife management in an effort to gain emotional support from those less informed on the benefits of hunting to African wildlife and the rural communities who live in and around it.
Furthermore, the bill would have dissuaded Californians from participating in an effort that has a proven track record for building African wildlife programs and local community support.
“Discouraging participation in a wildlife conservation program that African communities rely on through legislation in the United States seems backwards,” added WSF Marketing and Communications Director Garrett Long. “We need to be perpetuating participation to help reestablish sustainable hunting opportunities in Africa, giving these animals a realized worth to the local populations. Without that, they are merely competition for livestock feed.”
The recent Veto is certainly a win for hunters and wildlife conservationists. WSF is excited to continue working with international conservation interests, while ensuring sustainable management platforms for wildlife worldwide.