Flake Asks Kerry for Continued Support of Ending Wildlife Trafficking


Senator Jeff Flake, Washington DC.

Date Published


See link for video

Washington, DC – U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) today stressed the importance of efforts to curb wildlife trafficking and poaching in Africa at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing with Secretary of State John Kerry.              

As chairman of the Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health Policy, Flake led a congressional delegation to Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Namibia last week to investigate the harmful effects that wildlife trafficking and poaching has on those countries. U.S. Sens. Ben Cardin D-Md.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) were part of the congressional delegation.  

“In Namibia, we went into a vault where they held illegal seizures of rhino horns and ivory including a white rhino horn that was worth about $600,000 on the black market- it is more expensive than any precious metal or even cocaine. Those countries are worried that criminal networks will come in and fund conflicts and instability like they have in central Africa and elsewhere. The programs we have in those countries help them respond to this growing threat and it’s important that we keep supporting them,” said Flake.

Background: On Dec. 10, 2015, Flake and Coons introduced S. 2385, the END Wildlife Trafficking Act, which would require the Presidential Task Force on Wildlife Trafficking to work with the governments of countries affected by wildlife poaching and trafficking to complete an analysis of the threats each country faces, and to devise a plan with recommendations on how to address these threats. The bill would authorize a variety of assistance programs available to the Secretary of State, the USAID Administrator, and other relevant agency heads to address poaching and wildlife trafficking.

On Dec. 16, 2015, Flake and Coons wrote an op-ed for CNN to highlight that wildlife trafficking is not just a conservation concern, it is a national security concern as well.