PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine's Republican senator wants the federal government to offer rewards to people who provide information against illegal wildlife trafficking and poaching.

Sen. Susan Collins says the Rescuing Animals With Rewards Act would authorize the State Department to offer such rewards. She's introducing a bill about the subject with Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon.

Collins says the wildlife trade is a major threat to the survival of vulnerable species around the globe. Her office says in a statement authorizing rewards for people who provide information about traffickers would enable the feds to "do more to tackle this insidious and growing threat."

There is a companion bill to the proposal in the U.S. House of Representatives. Several animal welfare and wildlife advocacy groups have endorsed the idea.

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