Bill Would Eliminate Endangered Species Act Protections for All Exotic ESA-Listed Species in the United States

Senate Bill 771, despite being named the “Saving America's Vulnerable and Endangered Species Act,” would amend the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to remove all ESA protections for nonnative species in the United States to facilitate captive hunting ranches. The bill was introduced by Senator Ted Cruz and referred to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. The companion bill, House Resolution 1558, was introduced by Representative Nathaniel Moran and has been referred to the House Natural Resources Committee. If enacted, the bill would have significant ramifications beyond broad legalization of killing imperiled species, including facilitating the exotic pet trade and precluding further ESA citizen suits like the one pending against a roadside zoo in Rep. Moran’s district that has been criticized for its treatment of tigers, lions, lemurs, and other captive wild animals.