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Menendez Offers Legislative Response to Killing of Cecil the Lion

Menendez (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Menendez (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Robert Menendez is spearheading a new effort to curtail trophy killings after national attention was drawn to the killing of Cecil the lion.  

Cecil was the African lion in Zimbabwe who was ultimately shot and killed after being struck with an arrow by an American dentist, sparking no shortage of outrage.  

The legislation to be introduced by the New Jersey Democrat would extend import restrictions on sport killings to species that are proposed for listing as either threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Menendez’s office pointed out that the Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed a listing for African lions that has not yet advanced.  

“Let’s not be cowardly lions when it comes to trophy killings,” Menendez said in announcing the bill. “Cecil’s death was a preventable tragedy that highlights the need to extend the protections of the Endangered Species Act. When we have enough concern about the future of a species to propose it for listing, we should not be killing it for sport.”  

He’s joined on the measure by the Garden State’s junior senator Cory Booker, along with two other Democrats: Foreign Relations ranking member Benjamin L. Cardin of Maryland and Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut.  

The proposed Menendez legislation will be formally known as the Conserving Ecosystems by Ceasing the Importation of Large Animal Trophies Act. Yes, as an acronym that’s the CECIL Animal Trophies Act.  

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