Ted Lieu Intros Bill to Protect Bear Population
Congressman Ted Lieu (D-CA) introduced legislation this month to protect the country’s bear population. As a member of the Endangered Species Act Working Group and the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus, he said he does not want to see these animals become extinct. “Poaching has been driving the world’s bear populations toward extinction and now is the time to take action,” Lieu said. “We have a real opportunity to work on a bipartisan basis to protect these majestic animals from further harm.” He introduced the Bear Protection Act with Representatives Rodney Davis (R-IL), Glenn Thompson (R-PA), and Ann Kuster (D-NH). The bill aims to protect global bear populations by prohibiting the import, export, possession, transport, and sale of bear organs. Unfortunately, a black market for bear parts still thrives. Black bear gall bladders from the U.S. sell for about $1,000 in Asia. The members stated that allowing commercial bear poaching for their organs puts them at risk for inhumane treatment. Conservation efforts have had positive results for black bear and grizzly bear populations in some parts of the country. In California, it’s illegal to sell or purchase the meat, skin, hide, teeth, claws, or other parts of any bear. Nearly a half million bears live in America and conservationists say it's important to protect bears and ensure their populations are healthy because they indicate how the environment is doing overall. But the large mammals face serious threats on many fronts, most of which are due to human activity. From deforestation to unregulated hunting, mankind has wreaked more havoc on their species than the inverse. More here.