Two of our industry's most endearing allies, John Jackson III and Michael Oropallo have provided us with the following information with regard to prescribed trophy restrictions in the Garden State of NJ that could impact our profession as nothing ever has before in the past. Can an NJ law crack down on trophy hunts in Africa? Senate panel advances plan to block shipment of threatened species through NJ or its ports TRENTON – State lawmakers, with the worldwide uproar over the hunting death of Cecil the lion fresh in their sights, are considering legislation prohibiting such “trophies” from being possessed in New Jersey or transported through its ports. The measures would expand a state ban enacted last year on the importing, sale or possession of ivory, designed to protect elephants and rhinoceros. The move stems from last month’s killing of the popular lion in Zimbabwe by an American recreational hunter, Walter Palmer, who has become Public Enemy No. 1 on the Internet, thanks to publicity about Cecil’s death. “Cecil the lion is sort of our hero,” said the Sierra Club’s Jamie Zaccaria, “and he didn’t die in vain because we’re going to keep pushing for legislation like this to protect other animals and to stop our role in the killing of endangered and threatened species.” [This is interesting -- I thought Sierra Club was okay with hunting?] Two bills were advanced Monday by a Senate committee. One prohibits possession, transporting, importing, exporting, processing, sale or shipment of species threatened with extinction. The other prohibits their possession and transportation through Port Authority of New York and New Jersey airports and ports, extending the would-be law’s impact into New York — if New York lawmakers concur. Sen. Raymond Lesniak, D-Union, said a state-level law in New Jersey can have an impact by cutting off a transit point. “Because it’s New Jersey, it will have a huge impact because our ports are often used to bring these trophies into the United States,” Lesniak said. “As well as, we have folks from New Jersey who go to Africa for the purpose of trophy hunting, and it needs to be stopped.” The bill would specifically protect Africa’s “big five” species — the elephant, leopard, lion, rhinoceros and Cape buffalo. Violators could be found guilty of a third-degree crime subject to criminal fines of $5,000 to $50,000, civil penalties of up to $25,000 and administrative penalties of up to $25,000 per day. Wildlife that are already lawfully possessed would be exempt, though the owner would need to obtain a certificate of possession from the state Department of Environmental Protection. Zoos and museums would be exempt. [There are no other exemptions except for passage of trophies through succession.] There are already import and export protections under federal law for species listed under the Endangered Species Act. U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., wrote and introduced legislation, co-sponsored by U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and others, that would expand the protection to species proposed for listing as threatened, such as the African lion. The United States is the largest importer of lion trophies, said Kathleen Schatzmann, the New Jersey state director for The Humane Society of the United States. Close to 500 were imported between 2009 and 2013, she said. The Animal Welfare Institute says more than 5,750 African lion parts have been imported to the United States since 2000. “Lions and other animals are facing a myriad of threats, with trophy hunting being the most needless threat to all of these imperiled animals,” Schatzmann said. No one spoke against the measures, which cleared the Senate Economic Growth Committee in 3-0 votes, but proponents of such big-game hunting argue that proceeds from such expeditions help fund animal preservation efforts. Palmer, who faces poaching charges, reportedly paid $50,000 to kill Cecil. Zimbabwean officials allege that he coaxed the lion out of a protected area. Palmer, a dentist, said he relied on the advice of his guides and believed he acted within the law. New Jersey’s ivory ban was signed into law by Gov. Chris Christie in August 2014, after the bill has passed the Legislature by votes of 37-0 in the Senate and 75-2 with one abstention in the Assembly. ASBURY PARK PRESS Michael Symons: (609) 984-4336; [email protected] This is the law: SYNOPSIS Prohibits possession, transport, import, export, processing, sale, or shipment of certain animal species threatened with extinction. CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT As introduced. An Act concerning certain animal species threatened with extinction and amending P.L.1973, c.309 and R.S.23:4-27. Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey: 1. Section 2 of P.L.1973, c.309 (C.23:2A-2) is amended to read as follows: 2. The Legislature hereby finds and declares the following: a. That it is the policy of this State to manage all forms of wildlife to insure their continued participation in the ecosystem; b. That species or subspecies of wildlife indigenous to the State which may be found to be endangered should be accorded special protection in order to maintain and to the extent possible enhance their numbers; and c. That the State should assist in the protection of species or subspecies of wildlife which are deemed to be endangered or threatened elsewhere by regulating the taking, possession, transportation, importation, exportation, processing, sale or offer for sale, or shipment within this State of species or subspecies of wildlife including the big five African species, those on any [Federal] federal endangered or threatened species list, and those species or subspecies appearing on the lists described in paragraphs (4) and (5) of subsection a. of section 6 of P.L.1973, c. 309 (C.23:2A-6). (cf: P.L.1973, c.309, s.2) 2. Section 3 of P.L.1973, c.309 (C.23:2A-3) is amended to read as follows: For the purposes of [this act] P.L.1973, c. 309 (C.23:2A-1 et seq.), unless the context clearly requires a different meaning: “Big five African species” means the following species of wildlife: (1) African elephant (Loxodonta Africana); (2) African leopard (Panthera pardus); (3) African lion (Panthera leo); (4) black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) and white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum); and (5) Cape buffalo (Syncerus caffer); [a.] "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection; [b.] "Department" means the Department of Environmental Protection; [c.] "Endangered species" means any species or subspecies of wildlife whose prospects of survival or recruitment are in jeopardy or are likely within the foreseeable future to become so due to any of the following factors: (1) the destruction, drastic modification, or severe curtailment of its habitat, or (2) its over-utilization for scientific, commercial or sporting purposes, or (3) the effect on it of disease, pollution, or predation, or (4) other natural or manmade factors affecting its prospects of survival or recruitment within the State, or (5) any combination of the foregoing factors. The term shall also be deemed to include any species or subspecies of wildlife appearing on any Federal endangered species list; [d.] "Nongame species" means any wildlife for which a legal hunting or trapping season has not been established or which has not been classified as an endangered species by statute or regulation of this State; [e.] "Take" means to harass, hunt, capture, kill, or attempt to harass, hunt, capture, or kill, wildlife; [f.] "Wildlife" means any wild mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian, fish, mollusk, crustacean or other wild animal or any part, product, egg or offspring or the dead body or parts thereof. (cf: P.L1981, c.281, s.1) 3. Section 4 of P.L.1973, c.309 (C.23:2A-4) is amended to read as follows: 4. a. The commissioner shall conduct investigations concerning wildlife indigenous to the State in order to develop information relating to populations, distribution, habitat needs, limiting factors and other biological and ecological data to determine management measures necessary for their continued ability to sustain themselves successfully. On the basis of such determinations the commissioner shall develop management programs which shall be designed to insure the continued ability of wildlife to perpetuate themselves successfully. b. On the basis of such investigations of wildlife and other available scientific and commercial data the commissioner may by rule or regulation promulgate a list of those species and subspecies of wildlife indigenous to the State which are determined to be endangered, giving their common and scientific names by species and subspecies. The commissioner shall periodically review the State list of endangered species and may by regulation amend the list making such additions or deletions as are deemed appropriate. (cf: P.L.1981, c.511, s.14) 4. Section 5 of P.L.1973, c.309 (C.23:2A-5) is amended to read as follows: 5. a. The commissioner shall have the power to formulate and promulgate, adopt, amend and repeal rules and regulations, limiting, controlling and prohibiting the taking, possession, transportation, importation, exportation, sale or offer for sale, or shipment of any nongame species or any wildlife on the State list of endangered species , and for the purposes of implementing section 6 of P.L.1973, c.309 (C.23:2A-6). Such rules and regulations shall be designed to promote the public health, safety and welfare and shall be adopted in accordance with the "Administrative Procedure [Act" (P.L.1968, c.410, C.52:14B-1 et seq.)] Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.). b. The commissioner is authorized to conduct periodic inspections in order to determine compliance with the rules and regulations adopted pursuant to this section, and, to that end, is authorized to charge and collect fees in an amount sufficient to cover the costs of the inspections and services performed pursuant to [this amendatory act] P.L.1973, c.309 (C.23:2A-1 et seq.). Such fees shall be devoted entirely and exclusively to carrying out the purposes and provisions of [this amendatory act] P.L.1973, c.309 (C.23:2A-1 et seq.). Inspection fees shall be established in accordance with a fee schedule adopted by the department as a rule and regulation pursuant to the provisions of the [aforesaid] "Administrative Procedure Act." (cf: P.L.1981, c.281, s.2) 5. Section 6 of P.L.1973, c.309 (C.23:2A-6) is amended to read as follows: 6. a. Except as otherwise provided in [this act] P.L.1973, c.309 (C.23:2A-1 et seq.) or the rules or regulations adopted thereunder, no person shall take, possess, transport, import, export, process, sell or offer for sale, or ship, and no common or contract carrier shall knowingly transport or receive for shipment, any big five African species or any species or subspecies of wildlife appearing on the following lists: (1) the list of wildlife determined to be endangered by the commissioner pursuant to [this act] P.L.1973, c.309 (C.23:2A-1 et seq.); (2) the list of nongame species regulated pursuant to [this act] P.L.1973, c.309 (C.23:2A-1 et seq.); [and] (3) any [Federal] federal list of endangered or threatened species; (4) Appendix I or Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora; and (5) the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources Red List of Threatened Species, as either critically endangered, endangered, or vulnerable. [Any species or subspecies of wildlife appearing on any of the foregoing lists which enters the State from another state or from a point outside the territorial limits of the United States and which is transported across the State destined for a point beyond the State may be so entered and transported without restriction in accordance with the terms of any Federal permit or permit issued under the laws or regulations of another state.] b. Unless such activity is prohibited by federal or other State law, rule, or regulation, the following exceptions and defenses apply to the prohibition in subsection a. of this section: (1) the wildlife was lawfully possessed within the State prior to the date of enactment of P.L. , c. (C. ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), and the legal owner has obtained a certificate of possession from the commissioner, as provided pursuant to subsection c. of this section, within 180 days after the date of enactment of P.L. , c. (C. ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill); (2) the wildlife is being used or displayed for scientific, zoological, or educational purposes, for propagation in captivity of such wildlife, or for other special purposes, all as authorized by the commissioner; or (3) the wildlife is conveyed directly to a legal beneficiary of a trust or to a legal heir, provided that: (a) the wildlife was lawfully possessed by the decedent prior to the date of enactment of P.L. , c. (C. ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill); (b) after transfer to the beneficiary or heir, the wildlife is not thereafter sold, offered for sale, or otherwise distributed to any private party; and (c) the beneficiary or heir obtains a certificate of possession from the commissioner, as provided pursuant to subsection c. of this section, within 180 days after obtaining the wildlife. c. The department shall adopt, pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c. 410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), such rules and regulations as may be necessary to implement this section. These rules and regulations shall include a process for applying for the certificate of possession required pursuant to subsection b. of this section. The department may charge a reasonable fee to defray the cost of issuing a certificate of possession. d. Nothing in this section shall be construed to preclude a person violating this section from also being liable for any applicable violation of P.L.2014, c.22 (C.23:2A-13.1 et seq.), R.S.23:4-27, or any other State law, rule, or regulation. (cf: P.L.1981, c.281, s.4) 6. Section 7 of P.L.1973, c.309 (C.23:2A-7) is amended to read as follows: 7. a. The commissioner shall establish such programs, including acquisition of land or aquatic habitats, as are deemed necessary for the conservation and management of nongame and endangered species of wildlife. b. In carrying out programs authorized by [this act] P.L.1973, c.309 (C.23:2A-1 et seq.), the commissioner may enter into agreements with [Federal] federal agencies, with political subdivisions of the State, or with private persons for administration and management of any area established under this section or utilized for management of nongame or endangered species of wildlife. c. With the approval of the Governor, the commissioner may cooperate with and receive money from the [Federal Government, or] federal government, any county or municipal government, or [from] private sources for the purposes of [this act] P.L.1973, c. 309 (C.23:2A-1 et seq.). The commissioner may establish a separate fund from these contributions for the support of nongame and endangered species programs and for the purposes of P.L.1973, c. 309 (C.23:2A-1 et seq.). d. The commissioner may authorize, under such terms and conditions as may be prescribed by rule or regulation, the taking, possession, transportation, importation, exportation, sale or offer for sale, or shipment of nongame species and wildlife which appear on the State list of endangered species for scientific, zoological, or educational purposes, for propagation in captivity of such wildlife, or for other special purposes. e. The commissioner shall appoint a committee of experts to advise and assist the commissioner in carrying out the intent of [this act] P.L.1973, c.309 (C.23:2A-1 et seq.). [Said] These experts shall include persons actively involved in the conservation of wildlife. (cf: P.L.1981, c.281, s.5) 7. R.S.23:4-27 is amended to read as follows: 23:4-27. a. No person shall sell or purchase wildlife, except as authorized pursuant to this section or any other law or as may be authorized by rule or regulation adopted by the division pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.). b. The provisions of subsection a. of this section shall not apply to the sale or purchase of wildlife authorized or regulated by chapter 2A or 2B of this title, R.S.23:3-28 through R.S.23:3-39, section 4 of P.L.1970, c.247 (C.23:3-65), R.S.23:4-50, R.S.23:5-2, or Title 50 of the Revised Statutes, or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto, provided that the wildlife was taken and possessed in a lawful manner. c. Unless prohibited or restricted by rule or regulation adopted by the division, the raw or processed hide of the white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), the tail of the white-tailed deer, the portion of the front leg of a white-tailed deer limited to the carpal, metacarpal, and phalange bones, or the portion of the hind leg of a white-tailed deer limited to the tarsus, metatarsus, and phalange bones may be sold or purchased, provided that those parts or products are from a white-tailed deer that was taken and possessed in a lawful manner. d. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection a. of this section to the contrary: (1) the dead body or any part or product thereof of the following wildlife may be sold or purchased, provided that the wildlife was taken and possessed in a lawful manner: Virginia Opossum Didelphis virginiana Beaver Castor canadensis Muskrat Ondatra zibethicus Nutria Myocaster coypus Coyote Canis latrans Red Fox Vulpes vulpes Gray Fox Urocyon cinereoargenteus Raccoon Procyon lotor Long Tail Weasel Mustela frenata Short Tail Weasel Mustela erminea Mink Mustela vison Striped Skunk Mephitis mephitis River Otter Lutra canadensis (2) wildlife not native to this State that originated from a state or other jurisdiction where it is legal to sell or purchase that wildlife and the wildlife was sold or purchased in accordance with the laws of that state or other jurisdiction, may be sold or purchased in this State unless prohibited by federal law, rule, or regulation, “The Endangered and Nongame Species Conservation Act,” P.L.1973, c.309 (C.23:2A-1 et seq.), P.L.2014, c.22 (C.23:2A-13.1 et seq.), or any other State law, rule, or regulation; provided that the wildlife is labeled with the state or other jurisdiction of origin, the name and address of the exporter, and all applicable permit numbers until the expected final retail transaction has been made. e. The division shall adopt, pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), such rules and regulations as may be necessary to implement this section and to otherwise provide for the control and regulation of the sale and purchase of wildlife, including but not limited to wildlife not specifically listed in this section. f. In addition to any penalties that may be prescribed by any other applicable law: (1) a person who violates this section shall be: (a) subject to a civil penalty of not less than $200 and not more than $1,000 for the first offense, and not less than $500 and not more than $3,000 for each subsequent offense. If the violation involves the sale or purchase of a black bear (Ursus americanus), turkey (Meleagris gallapavo), white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), bobcat (Felis rufus), or illegally taken river otter (Lutra canadensis), the civil penalty shall be not less than $1,000 and not more than $2,000 for the first offense, and not less than $1,500 and not more than $3,000 for each subsequent offense; and (b) assessed the replacement value of the animal, as prescribed by section 10 of P.L.1990, c.29 (C.23:3-22.2); and (2) a person who purposely violates this section when the total value of the sale or purchase is: (a) less than $200 shall be guilty of a disorderly persons offense; (b) $200 or more, but less than $500, shall be guilty of a crime of the fourth degree; (c) $500 or more shall be guilty of a crime of the third degree. g. For the purposes of this section, “sell or purchase" means to sell or offer for sale, possess for sale, purchase or agree to purchase, receive compensation, barter or offer to barter, trade or offer to trade, or transfer or offer to transfer, or conspire for any of those purposes. (cf: P.L.1997, c.291, s.2) 8. This act shall take effect immediately.