Target: California Governor Jerry Brown
Goal: Ban all ivory sales to protect threatened elephant and rhinoceros populations
Current California law prohibits the sale of any elephant ivory obtained more recently than 1977, greatly limiting the sale of ivory from recently slaughtered and/or mutilated elephants, but there are loopholes and the ban can be easily worked around. A new bill introduced to the California legislature aims to severely tighten those restrictions to cut off the supply of ivory and save dwindling elephant and rhinoceros populations.
The age exemption built into the ivory and rhinoceros horn ban that currently exists in California—which is still stricter than federal regulations on ivory and rhino horn—allows the burgeoning illegal trade to continue almost unabated. Not only is it next to impossible to certify when the contraband was shipped into the state to verify its age, but many merchants have begun to artificially age the pieces to elude law enforcement and gain exemptions.
The new bill proposes to make it illegal to sell, purchase, possess with intent to sell, offer to sell or import with the intent to sell ivory and rhinoceros horn of any age. The only exemptions will be for scientific or educational purposes, antique musical instruments containing no more than 20 percent ivory and antiques containing no more than five percent ivory. These restrictions would seriously reduce how much ivory can be sold in the state and make age verification a thing of the past.
If this bill passes, countless elephants and rhinoceroses could be saved and those attempting to sell ivory would be punished. The supply of these costly body parts can only be stopped if the demand is stemmed. Elephants and rhinoceroses will continue to die for no better reason than the creation and sale of a few trinkets.
Urge California lawmakers to pass this bill and set an example to end the sale of ivory and rhinoceros horn once and for all by signing the petition below.
Dear Governor Brown,
California stands at the forefront of environmental and conservational progress. While the state’s ivory and rhinoceros horn ban is stricter than federal regulations would enforce, one step toward a stricter ban could save the lives of countless endangered animals that are needlessly teetering on the brink of extinction.
The recent ban proposed by Assembly Speaker Tony G. Atkins and Senator Ricardo Lara would greatly stem the instance of illegal ivory and rhino horn slipping through the hands of criminal merchants, propelling the indiscriminate slaughter of endangered animals. I urge you to ban the sale of all ivory in California, regardless of age.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: mohanmahadevan via Pixabay