The following letter to the editor was submitted by Kathleen McLean, an Arlington resident who lives near Tuckahoe Elementary School.
As a constituent in Virginia’s 8th district who cares deeply about animals, it was hard to believe that Congressman Moran’s successor would be as concerned about animal welfare issues as Representative Moran was. Congressman Beyer, however, has proven time and again since he took office that he sincerely cares about animal welfare and is willing to fight for those beliefs.
Representative Beyer once again demonstrated his commitment to animal welfare this past week when he introduced his amendment to the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act of 2015. Rep. Beyer’s amendment would have stripped the bill of many of its most devastating provisions. Two of those provisions would have been Title X and Section 302. Title X, the African Elephant Conservation and Legal Ivory Possession Act, would end efforts by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to crack down on the illegal trade of ivory by repealing the restrictions on U.S. ivory imports and exports. Section 302 would allow for the importation of 41 polar bear hunting trophies from Canada; these polar bears were killed in the two year period from 2006, when it was proposed that polar bears be listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and 2008, when the listing was finalized. Section 302 could serve as a dangerous precedent to allow other hunters who kill animals in other countries that are listed as threatened or endangered under the ESA to import their trophies.
Congressman Beyer’s actions make it clear that he has strong beliefs about animal welfare that he is willing to fight for and make me proud to call him my Representative.
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