SPRINGFIELDHouse Bill 395 is awaiting action on the governor’s desk, and Assistant Senate Majority Leader Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) is urging him to sign the legislation to protect animal species facing the threat of extinction. The measure would prohibit the trafficking of exotic animal parts in Illinois.

“While Illinois leads the nation in so many areas of animal welfare, we are behind the federal government when it comes to illegal smuggling and trafficking of animals’ body parts,” Holmes said. “Federal policy has been strengthened, and Illinois needs to take action. This legislation has passed through the General Assembly, and simply awaits the governor’s signature.”

House Bill 395 would prohibit the sale of products and parts of giraffes, sharks, sea turtles, pangolins, tigers, lions, great apes and other imperiled species. Some examples:

  • Fewer than 7,100 cheetahs remain in the wild.
  • A quarter of all shark and ray species are threatened with extinction.
  • Between 2006 and 2015, the US imported approximately 40,000 giraffe parts and products.
  • All seven sea turtle species are threatened with extinction.
  • African lion populations have declined since 1993 and continue to decline.

“These beautiful creatures belong on this planet with us; they don’t deserve such cruelty and the threat to their species’ very survival,” Holmes said. “Many poaching practices are brutal and we can’t condone such brutality.”

House Bill 395 passed the House and Senate with strong bipartisan support. It now awaits consideration by the governor.