House committee to hold hearing on international wildlife trafficking (I am glad there will be hearings on this)

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See release below from the House Foreign Affairs Committee…

Chairman Royce Announces Hearing to Examine International Wildlife Trafficking Threats to Conservation and National Security

Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, announced that on Wednesday, February 26 the Committee will hold a hearing entitled, “International Wildlife Trafficking Threats to Conservation and National Security,” which will begin at 10:00 a.m.

The hearing follows the Administration’s recent release of the National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking. In December, Chairman Royce wrote a letter to the co-chairs of the Presidential Task Force on Wildlife Trafficking, urging them to produce a “bold” strategy that includes the same law enforcement tools used to combat other transnational organized crime networks.

Chairman Royce on the hearing: “Wildlife trafficking is a global problem that criminal networks and even terrorists are profiting from. The black market for ivory and other illegal wildlife products is worth an estimated $10 billion, a market ideal to fund deadly terrorist attacks or weapons for rebel groups. Committee members will have an opportunity to press the Administration on its recently released National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking, specifically how the strategy will be implemented, and how it will provide the tools to better target wildlife criminals.”

Note: Last year, President Obama signed into law legislation originally authored by Rep. Royce, which expands the State Department’s rewards program to target the world’s worst human rights abusers and transnational organized criminals such as wildlife traffickers like Vixay Keosavang. The Administration is expected to ask Congress for additional legislative authorities to combat wildlife trafficking.

What:

Hearing: “International Wildlife Trafficking Threats to Conservation and National Security”

When:

10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, February 26

Where:

2172 Rayburn House Office Building

Witnesses:

The Honorable Kerri-Ann Jones
Assistant Secretary
Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs
U.S. Department of State

The Honorable Daniel M. Ashe
Director
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
U.S. Department of the Interior

Mr. Robert G. Dreher
Acting Assistant Attorney General
Environment and Natural Resources Division
U.S. Department of Justice

***See www.foreignaffairs.house.gov for updates.

***Coverage note: All Foreign Affairs Committee proceedings are webcast live at www.foreignaffairs.house.gov/live-video-feed.

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