Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed House amended (12/19/1979)

(Measure passed House, amended)

Elephant Protection Act of 1979 - Prohibits the importation into or exportation from the United States of African elephants or elephant products. Prohibits the acquisition, transportation, or sale in interstate commerce of such products imported in violation of this Act.

Permits individuals to: (1) import and export a total of 10,000 pounds of unworked ivory for six months after enactment of this Act; and (2) import worked ivory for 90 days after enactment, if there is no intention to sell such ivory in the United States.

Requires the Secretary of the Interior to grant permits for the importation or exportation of elephants and elephant products if the Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the wildlife management authorities of the nation in which such products originate, finds that: (1) such nation has developed and implemented an elephant conservation program according to specified criteria; (2) the products can be traced as coming from a particular nation; (3) the products are acquired and transported in compliance with laws of the originating nation; (4) the importation or exportation will not be detrimental to the survival of the species; and (5) the permit is applied for in good faith. Authorizes the Secretary to grant permits for the importation or exportation of elephants or elephant products to enhance propagation or survival of the species and is consistent with the policy of this Act. Requires the Secretary to report to Congress concerning the granting of such permits.

Sets forth civil and criminal penalties for violations of this Act. Provides for the remittance or mitigation by the Secretary of any civil penalty assessed under this Act.

Provides for the forfeiture of elephants, elephant products, or vehicles aiding in the importation, exportation, acquisition, or transportation of such products contrary to the provisions of this Act. Grants specified search and seizure powers for enforcement of this Act by authorized persons. Authorizes the payment of rewards to persons furnishing information concerning violations of this Act.

Requires all imports and exports of elephant products to go through either the Port of New York or the Port of Seattle, Washington.

Exempts from this Act: (1) elephants imported or exported for zoological, educational, scientific, or exhibitional purposes; (2) elephant products included in a keyboard for a musical instrument; (3) elephant products taken and imported or exported by a sports hunter; and (4) elephant products taken and transported in compliance with the laws of the originating nation.

Supersedes the Endangered Species Act and State laws regarding elephant and elephant products.

Directs the Secretary of State to establish a program to assist nations to: (1) protect elephant habitats; (2) conserve living elephants; and (3) develop and implement elephant conservation management programs.

Authorizes appropriations to the Secretaries of the Interior and State through fiscal year 1983.