Environment Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

SB-227

Title:

AN ACT CONCERNING CECIL'S LAW.

Vote Date:

3/16/2016

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable Substitute

PH Date:

3/4/2016

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Environment Committee

REASONS FOR BILL:

The effort to protect endangered species has garnered much support since the killing of “Cecil,” the lion, by a trophy hunter in Africa. This bill reflects an effort to have Connecticut contribute to the protection of the “big five African species” (African elephant, African lion, African leopard, black rhinoceros and white rhinoceros) by prohibiting the import, possession, sale and trade of these species or parts thereof from overseas. The raised bill contains exemptions for museums and educational institutions and for possession of items received prior to the bill's effective date but requires a DEEP certification confirming that prior ownership.

SUBSTITUTE LANGUAGE

-Adds an exemption for all ivory and ivory-related products

-Adds an exemption for the transportation, importation or possession of a live “big five” species by a zoo or circus

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

None Expressed

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Senator Bob Duff, Majority Leader, 25th District: Senator Duff testified that the bill would help protect endangered species and does not seek to make criminals out of museums or residents in Connecticut who possess products from another era. He adds the bill is prospective only and has a mechanism in place to allow for certification that an item was possessed prior to enactment.

Annie Hornish, CT State Director – The Humane Society of the United States: Ms. Hornish supports intent of the legislation but feels it could be improved.

Changes Recommended

-The African buffalo should be included.

-Awareness of preemption by federal law which permits importation of these species if taken legally by permit.

-Pertain only to animal parts/products of the named species.

Karen Laski, Board Member – CT Votes for Animals: Ms. Laski stated that federal laws prohibiting the importation of poached animals should be stronger and Cecil's law is exactly what is needed. Kenya banned trophy hunting 40 years ago and Botswana two years ago, but other key countries in Africa profit from the slaughter.

The following testified that in order to support the protection of endangered species, Connecticut needs to enact as strong a law as possible to stop the ivory market.

Agnes Wosko, Granby

Eva Magnuszewski, New Britain

James Hoffecker,Hamden

Megan Rudne Hoffecker, Hamden

Jessica Corsaletti, Berlin, CT

Julia Caruk, South Windsor

Leslie Bruzik

Neil Hornish, Granby

Nicholas Checker, Quaker Hill, CT

Nicole Rivard, Friends of Animals

Noreen Lotko, Plainville

Patricia Harmon, Ph.D, Stamford

Sherry Wernicke,Greenwich

Sue Kautz, RN, Member, Humane Society

William E Jessup, Darien

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

Representative Linda Orange, 48th District: Representative Orange opposes the bill due to the information received from Arthur S. Liverant of Nathan Liverant and Son.

Representative Mitch Bolinsky, 106th District: Representative Bolinsky supports the intent of the bill but feels it is too broad and will have negative unintended consequences for residents and businesses of Connecticut

Arthur Liverant, Nathan Liverant and Son LLC: Mr. Liverant feels this bill would irreparably harm the preservation, collecting, study, understanding and promotion of Connecticut's history. There is an exemption for possession by museums, but none for the trade in antique items.

The need for a "certificate of possession" from DEEP would seem to be a difficult requirement.

Christopher G. Kopacki, CT State Liaison, National Rifle Association: Mr. Kopacki stated that while the NRA opposes poaching and illegal trade, the effects of a ban on legally-owned animal products will be disastrous for hunters, gun owners, and collectors. Banning the trade and sale of legal pre-ban ivory will not save any elephants, and a prohibition on the importation of future hunting trophies only strips valuable resources from African communities trying to protect species.

Larry Higgins, President, Safari Club International: Mr. Higgins testified that the Endangered Species Act, the Lacey Act, and the African Elephant Conservation Act are federal laws that already extensively restrict the importation, possession and trade of endangered and threatened species. In addition, Connecticut state laws already protect local wildlife and prohibit the possession of any animal product from another country where the wildlife is known to have been killed illegally.

Thomas Loughman, CEO Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford: While endorsing the intent of the bill, Mr. Loughman states it is too broad and confusing for curators of art. He suggests a “bright line” of distinction be included for items originating after 1976 when the African elephant was added to the endangered species list.

Paul J. O'Pecko, Mystic Seaport: Mr. O'Pecko expressed his belief that the bill will have no effect on ivory trade but will, more than likely, have many unintended consequences for citizens.

Robert A. Mitchell Founding Member, Elephant Protection Association, PA: Mr. Mitchell testified that a one-size-fits-all prohibition on the trade of elephant ivory and other wildlife species will do much more harm than good for the prospects of these species' survival. This policy ultimately would strip African countries and local communities that host these species of tools and incentives to balance wildlife needs with the costs of maintaining them, ultimately reducing these species to nuisances.

The following submitted testimony that they support the intent of the bill to protect endangered species but are concerned about the following.

● S.B. 227 would make ownership of any ivory product a felony unless certified by the DEEP.

● Until the mid-20th century, ivory was used in household products still found in many homes.

● This bill does not allow for legal ownership of ivory products by collectors and purveyors of antique ivory.

● Newly harvested ivory is not useful to this industry.

● There is no market for newly harvested ivory in this country as the market price for ivory is 10 times higher in Asia than in the U.S.

● The prohibitions in the bill will do nothing to protect endangered species currently living.

● Federal law prohibits the importation of these species and parts thereof if taken illegally.

BUSINESSES, CRAFTSMEN, CURATORS

Al Comen, Board Members, American Clock and Watch Museum

Brian J. Kiracofe, Owner/Artist Newport Scrimshanders

David Rankine, Bagpiper, Vernon

David A. Schorsch, Dealer, American Folk Art

David Warther, David Warther Carvings

Elliott and Grace Snyder Antiques

Emily and Marc Cusson, Antique Dealers, Tolland

Helaine Fendelman, Former President, Appraisers Association of America, Inc.

Ian Rankine, Bagpiper, Bristol Police Dept.

Jack & Rosemary DeStories, Fairfield Auction, Monroe

James J Crook, Coalition of CT Sportsmen

James M. Goldberg, National Association of Music Merchants

Jacob Otto, President, Manchester Pipe Band

Jennifer N. Johnson, Yale University Art Gallery

Jerry Jordan, Jordan Antiquarian Books

Jesse Goldberg, Artemis Gallery, North Salem, NY

Jody Blankenship, CEO Connecticut Historical Society

Johanna McBrien, Editor-in-Chief, Antiques & Fine Art Magazine, MA

Joseph Kabe Estate Auctions

Kevin J. Kerchaert, Pipe Major, Manchester

Leonard Wyeth AIA, Wyeth Architects, Chester

Michael Friedman, Antique Dealer, CT

Robert B. Carrara, Bagpiper, Amston

Scot Huntington, S.L. Huntington & Co. Stonington

INDIVIDUALS

Andrew J. Covell, CT resident

Brenda Reichel

Brian Pinto, Glastonbury

Brian Wolfe, Westbrook

Bruce Lazaroff, Manchester

Cecil Adams, Bloomfield

Daniel McMullen

Don Dixon, Coventry

Dr. Brian Ehrlich, New London

Faith Mary Alaimo

Glenn Forrester Hillman, Litchfield

James Cooke, Anita Hochstein, Glastonbury

James Davidson

Jay Lurie, New Canaan

Jeffrey O'Connell

Jeffrey B. Otto, Brooklyn, CT

John Frederick Walker, Historian, Kent

Jonathan Rickard, Deep River

Kevin J. Tulimieri, Amston

Leslie Strauss, Chester

Linda Karst Stone, Small Business Owner

Nancy D. Cuss

Nancy Thym, Conneciticut College Student

Paul Goulekas, Niantic

Paul Krasusky, Tolland

Peter Craig, New Britain

Peter Rhodes, CT

Peter Craig, New Britain

Ray Zeiner, Simbury

Richard Quinn

Roy Downey, Higganum,

Terence Flynn, New Fairfield

Thomas Blank

Tyler Cusson, Tolland

Wayne A. Hilt, Haddam Neck

OUT OF STATE

Don Nigro, Hawaii

Dick Rose, Ohio resident

Jim Stevens, CO

John F. Rinaldi, ME

Knife Rights, Inc. AZ

Michele Lincoln, Hawaii

Richard Donnelly, Antique Dealer, RI

Robert Kaynes, OH

Robert Weisblut, FL

Ron Fromkin, FL

Rosalind Mohnsen, MA

Scott Defrin, European Decorative Arts Co.

Stephen Raphael Marchione, Marchione Guitars LLC

Thomas DeLeo, NY

Thomas Strange, SC

William H Bakeman Antiques, MA

All concerns regarding ivory from those testifying in opposition were addressed in the Substitute Language

Reported by: Jane Dauphinais

Date: 3/21/16