(TRENTON) – Assemblyman Tim Eustace (D-Bergen/Passaic), who is sponsoring legislation here at home to help protect African lions and other endangered species from extinction, today praised the Obama administration’s decision to include the African lion under the protection of the Endangered Species Act, which will make it harder for hunters to bring lion trophies into the United States:
“I applaud President Obama for taking such an important step to help protect these majestic animals. Lion numbers have been depleted at alarming rates, and unless we take significant steps to thwart this trend, experts believe their numbers could be reduced by half in the next 20 years.
“We are all interconnected and somehow dependent on each other. Losing these animals would not only deprive future generations of their grandeur, but threaten the ecological balance.
“I have to two bills currently making the legislative rounds that would help protect these and other endangered species. But if we’re really going to make a difference, we need all hands on deck.
“Between this federal designation and conservation efforts at the state and local level, we can help ensure these animals continue to roam these lands as they have been for thousands of years. We have a responsibility to conserve our history on this earth and these animals are a part of it.
“Instead of being the generation that wiped these animals from existence, we can be the generation that proved its humanity by saving them.”
Eustace has two bills to protect endangered species making their way through the Legislature: (A-4773), which would protect threatened animals from extinction by banning the transport of game trophies of threatened or endangered species through airports and facilities controlled by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and (A-4808), which would prohibit possession, transport, import, export, processing, sale, or shipment of animal species threatened with extinction.
The bills were recently released by the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee.