Together We Can Make a Difference for Our Fellow Creatures

“The future of wildlife is in our hands.”

This statement is the theme for this year’s World Wildlife Day, happening today. I hope you will join with me to take action to help ensure that we will have Earth’s magnificent creatures around for generations to come.

As co-chair of the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus, I’m working to protect precious habitat and species in danger of extinction.

While we’ve seen significant support for animal protection — in fact, I’ve found it to be an issue that brings people together from all political parties — there are still efforts to undermine the progress we’ve made.

Just last week, the House passed the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act, a shameful piece of legislation that peels back progress that has been made concerning protection of wildlife species.

It prevents the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from closing loopholes on the illegal ivory trade that fuels illegal elephant poaching. It allows for the importation of certain polar bear trophies currently prohibited by federal law. It removes the authority of our federal land managers to further protect wildlife and the environment from the risks of lead ammunition. The list goes on.

This bill is the antithesis of sportsmanship. It’s appalling that the House would pass legislation that not only undercuts important protections, but expands inhumane practices that the vast majority of Americans don’t agree with. This vote represents a dramatic step backwards for wild and endangered creatures, and I hope you will join me in trying to block its passage in the Senate by calling your U.S. Senators now: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members

But more must be done — especially with regard to illegal wildlife trafficking.

It’s hard to understand how the illegal trade of elephant and rhinoceros ivory still flourishes at the magnitude that it does today. The intelligence and sophistication of these creatures makes this barbaric slaughter even worse. We lose about 100 elephants a day — their tusks sold to fund the murderous activities of some of the cruelest thugs on Earth. That’s why I’m working with Representative Peter DeFazio on the TUSKER Act to require certain countries implicated in the ivory trade to work with the United States on anti-poaching efforts, or face economic sanctions. Tell Congress to support an end to ivory trade: http://www.signherenow.org/petition/ivory-trade/blumenauer/.

I’m also bringing the fight against wildlife crime and cruelty to Oregon.

I’m one of the Chief Petitioners of the Save Endangered Animals Oregon ballot measure to prohibit the purchase and sale of endangered animal products and parts, especially endangered elephant’s ivory tusks, within Oregon’s borders. By passing this initiative, Oregon would join Washington and California and put in place a west coast blockade for this despicable trade. If you live in Oregon and would like to help get this measure on the ballot, please visit our website: http://www.saveanimalsoregon.com/

How we treat our fellow creatures is intrinsically linked to how we treat each other. Promoting animal protection benefits not only animals, but our society as a whole. Thank you for everything you do on behalf of animals. I know that together we can make a difference.

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