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H.R. 2245: CECIL Act

The text of the bill below is as of Apr 10, 2019 (Introduced).



1st Session

H. R. 2245


April 10, 2019

(for himself, Mr. Brendan F. Boyle of Pennsylvania, Mr. Cartwright, Mr. Cohen, Ms. Norton, Mr. Ted Lieu of California, Mr. Lowenthal, Mr. Lynch, Mrs. Napolitano, and Mr. Moulton) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, and in addition to the Committees on Foreign Affairs, and Ways and Means, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


To amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to prohibit import and export of any species listed or proposed to be listed under such Act as a threatened species or endangered species, and for other purposes.


Short title

This Act may be cited as the Conserving Ecosystems by Ceasing the Importation of Large Animal Trophies Act or the CECIL Act.


Amendment to prohibited acts

Section 9(a)(1) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1538(a)(1)) is amended by striking subparagraph (A) and inserting the following:


import into or export from the United States any species listed or proposed to be listed under section 4(c) as a threatened species or endangered species;



Imports of sport-hunted trophies

Section 10(a) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1539(a)) is amended by adding at the end the following:


Before issuing any permit under this Act authorizing import of any sport-hunted trophy of a threatened species or endangered species, the Secretary must make a finding after public notice and comment pursuant to section 553 of title 5, United States Code, of whether the country where the animal was killed adequately provides for the conservation and monitoring for that species, including—


a management plan for that species based on the best available science that—


addresses existing threats to the species; provides a significant conservation benefit to the species;


formally coordinates with adjacent countries to protect transboundary populations; and


ensures that any take is sustainable and does not contribute to the species’ decline in either the short-term or long-term according to current population estimates derived through the use of the best available science;


such management plan is being actively implemented;


the country where the animal was killed demonstrates transparency, accountability, and verifiability in governance to ensure that any benefits of trophy hunting, including revenue from such taking, materially, directly and substantially benefits the conservation of that species; and


hunting of the species in such country enhances the propagation or survival of the species.


Notwithstanding sections 9(b) and 9(c)(2), no permit may be issued by the Secretary for the import of a sport-hunted trophy of an elephant or lion taken in Tanzania, Zimbabwe, or Zambia.



Permit fees for sport-hunted trophy imports

Section 10(a)(2) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1539(a)(2)) is amended by redesignating subparagraph (C) as subparagraph (D), and by inserting after subparagraph (B) the following:


No permit may be issued by the Secretary under this Act for import of a sport-hunted trophy unless the applicant pays to the Secretary all administrative costs incurred by the United States that are associated with processing the permit application.



Transparency of sports-hunted trophy import permits

Section 10(c) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1539(c)) is amended by striking which is made under this section and inserting in its place under this Act for an endangered species or threatened species.


Termination of International Wildlife Conservation Council

The International Wildlife Conservation Council of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service is hereby abolished.


Government Accountability Office study


In general

Not later than 6 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General of the United States shall conduct and submit to the Congress a report on the results of a study of the effectiveness of trophy hunting in supporting international wildlife conservation efforts.



The report shall—


include a detailed analysis of how permit fees and other payments from hunters to government entities and hunting guides in host countries are applied to tangible actions supporting the conservation of the target species and other wildlife in such countries;


identify data gaps and recommend information that hunters and host countries must submit to verify the impacts of trophy hunting on wildlife conservation efforts; and


recommend actions that the Department of the Interior and the Congress should take to ensure that trophy hunting contributes to conservation.