Two Critical Wins for Sportsmen and Women Across the Globe
Over the past two days sportsmen and women throughout the globe have notched two critical victories. In an era of what has been an unprecedented attack on hunting, Safari Club International (SCI) praises the work of legislators and hunters in both the United States and the European Union (EU). Once again sportsmen and women have shown that we are a powerful force when we speak with a common voice.
Victory in the U.S. Senate: On April 20, the U.S. Senate passed S. 2012, the Energy Policy Modernization Act, complete with the passage of critical Amendment 3234. Amendment 3234, introduced by Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), contained substantial language from the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act, an important piece of legislation to protect and advance the rights of America’s 37 million hunters.
Numerous members of the U.S. Senate played a key role in advancing this important legislation, including: Senators Murkowski, Martin Heinrich (D-NM), James Risch (R-ID), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Joe Manchin (D-WV), and Deb Fischer (R-NE). SCI would like to thank all the aforementioned Senators for their efforts, as well Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX), and the rest of the Senate Majority Leadership team for ensuring this important piece of legislation moved forward.
SCI, however, was not alone in the effort. We worked closely with, and appreciate the efforts of dozens of other conservation groups, specifically the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, the National Rifle Association, and the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
Victory in the European Union Parliament: Hunters also have reason to celebrate a major victory in Europe. On April 18, time ran out for anti-hunters in their effort to promote policies designed to limit if not ban the importation of trophies into the European Union (EU). Over 80% of the Members of the EU Parliament (MEPs) chose not to sign a written declaration calling for the examination on the possibility to restrict all trophy imports into the EU.
The written decleration was introduced in January by a group of EU MEPs, with the support of anti-hunting interests. Those MEPs and anti-hunting groups then heavily lobbied other MEPs in Parliament to support this anti-hunting effort. Proponents of the document managed to collect only 135 of the 377 signatures they needed, falling far short of the requirement that a majority of the 751 MEPs sign by the April 18, 2016 deadline.
SCI and SCI’s European Chapters played a critical role in defeating this effort. SCI would like to thank our partners in this effort, including our European SCI members, the Federation of Associations for Hunting and Conservation of the European Union (FACE), Members of the European Parliament’s Intergroup “Biodiversity, Hunting and Countryside,” and the International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation (CIC).
SCI expresses its thanks to all of the SCI members, hunters, and policy-makers across the globe that contributed to these two victories; hunters’ voices were heard on the floors of the U.S. Senate and the EU Parliament. Now more than ever, hunters must build on the momentum achieved with these victories as our adversaries will not stop and neither will we.