Stop Letting Poachers Off the Hook for Murdering Endangered Animals

Target: Martha Williams, Principal Deputy Director of United States Fish and Wildlife Service

Goal: Demand that harsher penalties be enacted for the illegal poaching of wildlife.

Each year, hundreds of millions of animals are illegally killed, trapped, or trafficked as part of the global wildlife trade industry. This industry, estimated to be worth billions of dollars, poses serious threats to tens of thousands of species, many– like black rhinos, green turtles, and Amur leopards– of which have been driven to the brink of extinction. Animals that are not senselessly murdered for their skins and organs are stolen from their homelands, and transported in cramped conditions across seas. The animals that survive transit are then forced into tiny cages to serve as tourist attractions at roadside zoos or as pets in unsuitable homes.

Though wildlife trade hotspots like Southern Africa and Indonesia are most commonly associated with poaching, what many people might not realize is that poaching occurs just as prominently in the United States. And, while poaching laws vary by state, the current penalty in the U.S. is typically only a fine between $5,000 and $10,000 and a maximum sentence of up to two years in prison. In some states, it is even still legal to poach some endangered species. The American black bear– often killed for use of their skins, meat, and organs– is among the top 10 most endangered animals in the world. Poaching these bears is only illegal in 34 of the 50 states, meaning that it is justified by the law to destroy these amazing animals in the name of a few individuals’ monetary gain.

Poaching remains the most immediate threat to thousands of species worldwide. We must make a greater effort to conserve these species and do more to deter poachers from their cruel practices. Sign this petition to encourage lawmakers to enact stricter punishments towards poachers and higher levels of protection for the U.S. nation’s wildlife.


Dear Director Williams,

The poaching epidemic has long plagued our planet and, over the course of the last few decades, has driven thousands of our world’s species to near extinction. Over a hundred million animals are exploited by the wildlife trade industry each year. Those that are not brutally murdered to be sold as commodities on the Black Market are stolen away from their habitats and traded internationally to be kept in captivity at zoos or as pets.

What many neglect to realize is that poaching is not by any means an event isolated to regions like Africa or Asia– the illegal culling and selling of animals is constantly occurring in America’s own backyard. In fact, America actually has some of the highest poaching activity in the world. Animals like elk, black bears, bighorn sheep, and sharks are slaughtered in mass quantities, so that their horns, hides, and organs may be harvested and sold for profit. Over the years, we have seen an alarming decline in the populations of these animals throughout the U.S.

Currently, laws regarding poaching vary in severity from one state to another. The standard punishment for someone found guilty of the illegal practice is a couple thousand dollars and one to two years maximum in prison. This is not enough. If we want to do more to dissuade poachers from senselessly killing our wildlife and decimating entire species in the process, we must enact harsher penalties in every state. We are asking you, Ms. Williams, to please take a stand against these money-hungry poachers and for the wildlife of this nation.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Nom d’util


  1. Andrew Gurr says:

    Thankyou Donald Trump for undoing wild life protection for trophy hunters (especially for his grown up son, who is a diehard trophy hunter).

  2. what a shame that these beautiful animals are being killed for greed. what’s sadder is that there are laws in place to protect them and no one is enforcing them.

  3. Well said, Andrew Gurr! The Trump “boys” are a disgrace and should be shot down and publicly displayed for the cowardly scumbags they are….

  4. Lyla DeVita says:

    The Trump “legacy” should include the violent trophy hunting fame-and-profit machine that has sidelined the protection of these animals for decades. The idea of the Trump boys being held upside down by their heels in a canned hunt is enticing.

  5. The only good hunter is a dead hunter.Hunt the hunters!!

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