The Rescuing Animals With Rewards Act, championed by U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, passed the U.S. House.
The bill (HR 97), if it becomes law, boosts rewards for thwarting poachers killing endangered African lions and elephants.
“Wildlife trafficking is a nefarious and persistent threat to endangered animals across the world,” Buchanan said.
“The RAWR Act provides another tool to crack down on the billions of dollars generated by this illegal activity. It is now up to the Senate to approve this important measure.”
Buchanan explained the RAWR Act “allows the State Department to offer rewards for information leading to the arrest or conviction of wildlife traffickers around the globe.”
Animal Wellness Action applauded the legislation, calling out sponsors Buchanan and Nevada Democratic Rep. Dina Titus for sponsoring the legislation.
Now, Buchanan said he wants to see the Senate act quickly and get the legislation on President Donald Trump’s desk.
“It is imperative that we get this bill to the President’s desk as soon as possible,” he said.
“Whistleblowing protects global wildlife and denies terrorist groups funding derived from this illicit industry. We should be do all we can to encourage bringing these criminals to justice.”
The advancement of the bill marked the highlight of a week of animal-hugging achievements for the Sarasota Republican.
Buchanan joined in a Humane Society press conference at the Capitol also protecting animals.
Along with fellow Rep. Ted Deutch, a Boca Raton Democrat, the lawmaker pushed Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act.
The PACT Act would ease the prosecution under federal law of especially gruesome killings of animals, such as so-called “animal crush” videos.
“This important bill has broad support in Congress – evidenced by all the members who are cosponsors,” reads a statement from the Humane Society on the PACT Act.
On Tuesday evening, Buchanan will again spend an evening with the Humane Society. He and Rep. Alcee Hastings, a Fort Lauderdale Democrat, will both receive an award from the organization.
That’s for work the two Florida congressmen achieved last year fighting the consumption of domestic animals in the U.S.
The Dog and Cat Meat Trade Prohibition Act of 2018 passed last year.