Animal trafficking bill will be heard on Nevada Senate floor

CARSON CITY — A bill to crack down on the trafficking of sensitive species animal parts was amended and approved Friday by a Nevada Senate committee.

Senate Bill 194 prohibits the purchase, sale or possession with intent to sell animal parts or byproducts of an array of species, including tigers, lions, rhinos, sea turtles, elephants, sharks, whales, and hippos, among others.

Sen. Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas, in an earlier hearing said the bill targets the most highly trafficked species around the world.

States along the Pacific Coast as well as Hawaii ban the trafficking of those animals. Unless Nevada does the same, Denis said, Nevada could become a hub for illegal trafficking operations.

Under the bill, a first offense would be a gross misdemeanor. Subsequent offenses would be felonies. There are exemptions for antiques, musical instruments, knives and firearms, and for scientific or educational institutions.

The Senate Committee on Commerce, Labor and Energy amended and approved the bill, with Sen. James Settelmeyer, R-Minden, opposed. It now goes to the Senate floor.

Contact Sandra Chereb at schereb@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-3821. Follow @SandraChereb on Twitter.

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