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H.R. 2494 (114th): Eliminate, Neutralize, and Disrupt Wildlife Trafficking Act of 2016

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Nov 2, 2015.


Global Anti-Poaching Act

This bill addresses the illegal trade in endangered and threatened wildlife and their related parts and products.

(Sec 3) The Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and other appropriate agencies are urged to: (1) support strengthening existing wildlife enforcement networks and establishing new networks in other appropriate regions, and (2) promote the professionalization of the wildlife law enforcement sector and professional ranger training in partner countries.

(Sec 5) For the next five years, the State Department must provide to Congress an annual list of each foreign country that is a major source, transit point, or consumer of wildlife trafficking products. The report must designate each country listed in the report that has failed to demonstrably make substantial efforts to adhere to its obligations under international agreements relating to endangered or threatened species. The State Department may withhold certain foreign aid from a designated country and must notify each such country that it is subject to the withholding of assistance.

The bill amends the Sudan Peace Act by repealing a requirement for the State Department to report annually on the conflict in Sudan.

(Sec. 6) The bill urges the United States to continue providing defense articles (not including significant military equipment), defense services, and related training to appropriate security forces of African countries for countering wildlife trafficking and poaching.

(Sec. 7) The State Department is included in the certification process under the Pelly Amendment to the Fishermen's Protective Act of 1967. The Pelly Amendment authorizes the President to embargo wildlife products when the Department of the Interior or of Commerce certifies that a country is engaging in trade or certain actions that diminishes the effectiveness of an international agreement for the conservation of endangered or threatened species.

(Sec. 8) The bill applies provisions of the federal criminal code concerning money laundering and racketeering to wildlife trafficking violations of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, the African Elephant Conservation Act, and the Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Act of 1994, if the endangered or threatened species, products, items, or substances involved in the violation and relevant conduct have a total value of more than $10,000. The amounts generated from penalties for those wildlife violations must be used for the benefit and conservation of impacted species.

(Sec. 9) The bill urges the State Department to dedicate resources to: (1) conduct monitoring and evaluation of wildlife trafficking programs consistent with the Department's January 2015 Evaluation Policy; (2) publish program information on wildlife trafficking programs on the website, ForeignAssistance.gov; and (3) develop and implement a learning agenda to improve the performance and impact of wildlife trafficking programs and to share best practices among executive agencies.