The case of Cecil the Lion, where American dentist Walter Palmer shot the animal dead in Africa, set the internet ablaze with many calling for prosecution of the animal’s killer. Now, on the heels of that case, state Senator Raymond Lesniak has called for bills (S-3146 and S-3416) that would prohibit the possession and transport of endangered animals into ports under Port Authority of New York and New Jersey jurisdiction. Bill S-3416 also expands existing legislation to include more animals like the African lion as protected species.
At today’s New Jersey Senate Economic Growth Committee hearing in Trenton, Lesniak added the bills for consideration. The bills call for an end to the “possession, transport, import, export, processing, sale, or shipment of certain animal species threatened with extinction.” Additionally, they also limit the transport of the body parts of those animals.
“It basically joins New York at the hip with New Jersey to send a statement that you can’t bring endangered species into our ports as trophies to hang on the wall,” Lesniak said.
Presiding Senators at the hearing included Lesniak, Senator Nilsa Cruz-Perez and Senator Jim Whelan. The three unanimously voted to release both bills. Committee members Joe Kyrillos and Steven Oroho were not present.
Senator Lesniak has a long history supporting animal rights. Past efforts in the area have called for an end to gestation crates for livestock, shark finning, illegal trade of tiger parts and protection of New Jersey’s black bears.