Thursday, April 23, 2009

U.S. House of Representatives Passes Legislation Protecting Rare Species of Mammals and Birds Around the World

The Humane Society of the United States applauds the U.S. House of Representatives for passing legislation that will provide financial resources for conservation programs to protect rare dog and cat species and imperiled crane populations. The House passed the Great Cats and Rare Canids Act by a vote of 290 – 118, and the Crane Conservation Act by a vote of 288 – 116 on April 21.

Reps. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., John Tanner, D-Tenn., Hal Rogers, R-Ky., and Ed Royce, R-Calif., introduced the Great Cats and Rare Canids Act (H.R. 411). The Crane Conservation Act (H.R. 388) was introduced by Reps. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., and Ginny Brown-Waite, R-Fla. The HSUS expressed its strong thanks to the authors of these bills, and also to House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife Subcommittee Chairwoman Madeleine Bordallo, D-Guam, and Ranking Member Henry Brown, R-S.C., who have made passage of these bipartisan measures a priority.

“These important conservation bills will provide a critical lifeline for rare dogs, cats and cranes around the world,” said Michael Markarian, executive vice president for The Humane Society of the United States. “Many of these species are in crisis and have declined drastically due to habitat loss, disease and human-wildlife conflict. Who could possibly think that Cape hunting dogs or black crowned cranes do not deserve a place on our planet, or jaguars or snow leopards for that matter?”

The Multinational Species Conservation Fund already includes grant programs to help imperiled species — including Asian and African elephants, great apes, marine turtles, rhinoceroses, tigers and neotropical migratory birds. Now, two separate accounts would be added to the fund specifically to assist cranes and rare dogs and cats.

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