Lawmaker seeks ban on game trophies at airports
A local lawmaker has announced potential legislation that could discourage New Jersey hunters from the type of controversial hunting that led to the slaying of a protected lion in Zimbabwe by a Minnesota dentist.
State Assemblyman Tim Eustace has proposed a bill that would ban game trophies from entering the area's major airports, including two in New York.
If passed, it would be illegal to transport the carcasses of endangered or threatened species through those airports.
Eustace says the current federal fine is not more than a few thousand dollars -- a sum that would mean nothing to a hunter willing to pay more than $50,000 for such a hunt, as Walter Palmer, the dentist, did.
"This gentleman lives in the United States and has affected the economy of Zimbabwe," Eustace says, "Let's have some positive effects. Let's not be the ugly American."
Eustace says he expects there to be at least one summer legislative session and that he hopes to introduce the bill then.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says it has tried to reach Palmer several times, but so far he has not responded.