Success: New York Bans Ivory Sales


Target: Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York

Goal: Applaud ban of ivory sales

The ivory trade is responsible for the poaching of numerous elephants and rhinoceros — estimates indicate that 30,000 animals may be killed in a year. Each day nearly 100 animals are killed for their tusks and horns. While the United States has had a ban on the sale of new ivory for some time, the permitted sale of pre-1989 ivory has allowed for the illegal sale of tons of ivory. Next to China, the United States has the largest market for ivory and New York city was the most prominent location in the U.S. to sell the material. An earlier ForceChange petition called upon New York to ban the sale of all ivory in order to close any loopholes allowing new ivory to make its way onto the market. New York has thankfully responded by creating a new law which bans the sale of elephant tusks and rhino horns within state lines.

This is a great success which will hopefully make it more difficult for poachers to sneak their products into New York. The new law, however, allows for the sale of products containing minimal amounts of ivory that can be proven to be a minimum of 100 years old. In addition to increasing the required age of legal ivory, the fines for violators of New York state wildlife trafficking laws have been significantly increased. Depending on the price of items sold, a perpetrator could be charged with a Class D felony, pay a high fine, and serve jail time.

The rest of the United States will hopefully begin to follow New York´s example. It appears that laws are moving in the direction of the complete ban on all ivory sales. Only when this day comes can the safety of elephants be guaranteed. Tell Governor Cuomo you support his new law and hope that continued restrictions on ivory sales are forthcoming.


Dear Governor Cuomo,

I was thrilled to read that you recently signed a law prohibiting the sale of ivory in New York. I realize that some antique ivory will continue to be sold, and this leaves room for illegal ivory trafficking, but the increased penalties for breaking wildlife trafficking laws is a great step in the right direction.

The current rate of slaughter of elephants is absurd. When 100 animals are killed per day and a minimum of 30,000 are killed per year for their tusks, there is no way the population can survive. Putting an end to all ivory sales is the only way to ensure a better future for elephants. New York has taken a big step and will hopefully lead the rest of the U.S. in banning the sale of ivory. I applaud your efforts and hope you will continue to work to protect the future of elephants.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: jinterwas via Wikipedia

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