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Illinois could be first state to ban lion meat

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If one state lawmaker has his way, Illinois could become the first state to ban the sale of lion meat and the slaughter of those animals.

Representative Luis Arroyo, a Democrat from Chicago, introduced the Lion Meat Bill in late February.  The measure is currently under review by the House Agriculture and Conservation Committee.   Pat Verschoore, of Rock Island, chairs the committee.

The measure would make it illegal to “possess, sell, buy, give away, hold or accept lion meat or any product, item, or substance containing or labeled as containing lion meat for the purpose of human consumption.”

The bill proposes penalties of up to one year in jail and $2,500 in fines for a violation, which would be a class A misdemeanor.

There are no laws prohibiting the sale of lion meat in the U.S.  The USDA confirms lions are not currently protected as an endangered species in the U.S.

The House Agriculture and Conservation Committee has the measure on its hearing agenda for March 19, 2013.