Sweeping ivory ban: California Ivory Ban
Published: September 5, 2015
Sweeping ivory ban: California Ivory Ban, Finally, some good news for elephants! In the hopes of discouraging illegal poaching, California has effectively banned the sale of nearly all ivory and rhinoceros products.
Though California made it illegal to sell ivory in 1977, state law still permits the sale of older ivory imported more than four decades ago.
However, the new bill, CA-AB96, will close that loophole and “prohibit a person from purchasing, selling, offering for sale, possessing with intent to sell, or importing with intent to sell ivory or rhinoceros horn.”
The bill, which has already passed in the assembly, will be amended before it heads to the governor’s desk.
“We are seeing a poaching crisis that has the potential to impact an entire species of elephants and rhinos,” Toni Atkins, a co-sponsor of the bill, said in a statement. “We are one step closer to taking decisive action to prevent the harmful and illegal act of poaching to protect conservation efforts and help protect these delicate creatures.”
The good news follows President Obama‘s own announcement last month that his government is proposing a new rule that will ban the sale of virtually all ivory across state lines.
The demand for ivory has increased more than ever before. According to researchers, roughly 100,000 elephants were killed between 2010 and 2012: a number which equates to about seven percent of Africa’s elephant population per year.
“This species loss is unsustainable, and African elephants are being poached at a higher rate than they are being born, which will result in their extinction,” said Atkins. She expressed her belief that strengthening enforcement against the illegal ivory trade will “help put an end to poaching,” she said.
Upon hearing that the bill passed, Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of Save the Elephants, said in a statement: “This is the year of the elephant in California. If Governor Brown signs them, California will be the first state on the Pacific coast to crack down so meaningfully on the trade in ivory.”
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