2013-14 Federal Legislation
Born Free USA tracks bills that apply to any of our campaigns. Each bill is summarized, along with our position ("support" or "oppose") and what you can do. You can quickly see if your representatives or senators support the bill by clicking on the links provided to the cosponsors at the Library of Congress site, thomas.loc.gov.
This bill would severely weaken the Endangered Species Act (ESA), which has a remarkable track record of saving species from extinction over four decades. S.1731/H.R. 3533 would require the federal delisting of all species every five years, regardless of how fragile their populations are. All legal protections would be eliminated until Congress passed a joint resolution renewing their protections under the act for another five years. Five years later, this process would start over again. This wasteful procedure would repeatedly jeopardize species that depend on ESA safeguards for survival.
This bill, supported by Born Free USA and sponsored by Representatives Renee Ellmers (R-NC) and Peter DeFazio (D-OR), requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to change the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regulations governing the importation of nonhuman primates (NHPs) from abroad. Currently, facilities may import a primate for only “bona fide scientific, educational, or exhibition purposes.” The regulation does not include an allowance for “animal welfare purposes,” thereby prohibiting true wildlife sanctuaries from importing primates.
Purpose: This bill would amend the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966 to prohibit the use or possession of body-gripping traps in the National Wildlife Refuge System.
Status: Referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources on 11/15/13.
Update (July 30, 2014): S. 1463 passed the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works without amendments.
This bill amends the Lacey Act to prohibit interstate commerce in monkeys, apes and other primates in the exotic "pet" trade. It is narrowly crafted to target the commerce in and private possession of primates, and would not impact zoos, universities or wildlife sanctuaries.
This bill would amend the Captive Wildlife Safety Act to prohibit the private possession and breeding of big cats. There are exemptions for larger, well-regulated facilities such as AZA-accredited zoos, wildlife sanctuaries that do not breed or allow public handling of the animals, wildlife rehabilitators, state colleges and universities, and select traveling circuses that are in compliance with the Animal Welfare Act. Anyone who currently owns a big cat would be allowed to keep the animal, but would need to register him or her with the USDA.