WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) today announced that he will be introducing the Conserving Ecosystems by Ceasing the Importation of Large (CECIL) Animal Trophies Act to curb the sport killing of species that are proposed to be listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973.

The CECIL Animal Trophies Act is named after an African lion who was allegedly lured outside of a National Park in Zimbabwe earlier this week, shot with an arrow, and tracked for 40 hours while injured before being shot.

“Let’s not be cowardly lions when it comes to trophy killings,” said Sen. Menendez. “Cecil’s death was a preventable tragedy that highlights the need to extend the protections of the Endangered Species Act. When we have enough concern about the future of a species to propose it for listing, we should not be killing it for sport. I’m proud to be joined by my colleagues in introducing this common-sense legislation to take a necessary and prudent step that creates a disincentive for these senseless trophy killings and advances our commitment in leading the fight to combat global wildlife trafficking.”

This legislation is co-sponsored by Senators Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Ben Cardin (D-Md.).

Last year, The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) proposed listing the African Lion as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in October 2014, but has yet to finalize any protections. The CECIL Animals Trophies Act would extend the import and export protections for a species listed under the Endangered Species Act to those that have been proposed for listing, thereby prohibiting the import of any trophies gleaned from Cecil’s death without explicitly obtaining a permit from the Secretary of the Interior.

Full text of the CECIL Animal Trophies Act can be downloaded here.