A congressional bill pushes to expand trophy hunting and hunting on public lands.

The NRA-backed bill —  known as the Sportsman’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act, or the SHARE Act — claims to “protect the traditional right” of American sportsmen to fish and hunt by opening public, protected lands to hunters and expanding trophy hunting. If the bill passes, animals that were once protected from poachers and trophy hunters, such as wolves and bears, will become fair game for killing.

Where is the protection?

The NRA (National Rifle Association) supports the act along with trophy hunters who have been petitioning Congress for almost a decade to pass it. Chris Cox, the executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, stated, “The SHARE Act will strengthen America’s hunting, fishing, and sport shooting heritage now and in the future.” Hunters may be thrilled about the bill, but what about the animals?

Amendments that have been added to the act include removing ESA (Endangered Species Act) protections for gray wolves and blocking federal agencies that currently protect animals from being shot and killed by traps. The act caters to poachers since people will now be allowed to hunt on public land, and creates loopholes that will allow illegal ivory trade to take place. One Green Planet states, “Elephants are facing a global crisis right now thanks to demand for their tusks, and it’s essential that the USFWS be allowed to finish and implement this rule.” Many other animals will meet the same fate.

Elephant ivory is now a key source of funding for armed groups in central Africa

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It’s up to us to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves and not allow this ill-conceived bill to pass. Please contact your senator and urge them to oppose the SHARE act. Nobody wins if America is turned into one big hunting ground, where poachers can do as they please without consequence.