News / World

Congress sends bill on wildlife trafficking to White House

WASHINGTON — Congress has given final legislative approval to a bill boosting efforts to combat illegal wildlife poaching and trafficking, a growing problem worldwide with an estimated cost of up to $10 billion a year.

The House approved the bill on a voice vote Wednesday, sending it to the president.

The measure is intended to protect animals from lions, elephants and rhinos to exotic birds and sharks. It supports ongoing work of a presidential task force and directs U.S. agencies to work with countries affected by wildlife crime, such as the 2015 killing of Cecil the lion by an American during an illegal hunt in Zimbabwe.

The bill also requires the State Department to provide Congress with an annual list of countries considered major sources, transit points or consumers of wildlife trafficking.