Enact Legislation to BAN sale of Ivory and Rhino Horn in Massachusetts
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Bill S.450 and Bill H.419 have been introduced in the MA Senate and are currently under review by Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture, after a public hearing held on October 3.
In June 2016, United States Government gave hope to the last remaining wild African elephants by passing the long-awaited ban on Ivory sales in the country. Sadly, U.S. is still the second largest market for the illegal ivory trade, behind China. This is largely true because it is up to the individual states to enforce the law within their borders. And New Jersey, New York and California have done just that by passing laws banning the sale of ivory. Our state of Massachusetts plays a role in this market -- Boston has been ranked 4th in the U.S. for sales of ivory advertised on Craigslist. We must stop this.
We need a similar law in the state of Massachusetts.
In May 2016, State Senator Jason Lewis and State Representative Lori Ehrlich sponsored Bills S.440 (Updated Bill S.450) and H.1275 (Update H.419) for review with the Massachusetts Judiciary Committee. The purpose of the Bill was to:
- Prohibit the ivory and rhino horn trade in MA
- Prevent ivory traffickers from exploiting Federal loopholes and mixing of illegal ivory with legal sales
- Purpose is NOT to criminalize possession of ivory currently owned by Mass residents or prohibit inheritance or noncommercial gifts.
Unfortunately, the bill couldn't garner enough support to become a law in 2016. Lets change that in 2017 !!
Please join me in urging the Massachusetts state legislature to enact legislation to BAN the import, in-state, and internet sale and distribution of ivory and rhino horns in our beloved state.
On average, 100 elephants are killed for their tusks every day and a rhino is poached every 8 hours. They are killed using AK47s, poisoned watermelons, cyanide dumped in watering holes, and poisoned darts that lead to weeks of extreme suffering before they die. Their tusks or horns are often hacked off while the animal is still alive. At this rate, these keystone species could be extinct within 10 years.
Poaching is also a national security issue, as extremist groups and terrorist organizations are often involved in wildlife trafficking, using it to finance their military operations. Wildlife trafficking is among the top 5 criminal markets worldwide alongside narcotics, weapons, human trafficking, and counterfeiting.
Let's urge our lawmakers to partner with the world in saving elephants and rhinos. Sign our petition requesting them to pass the laws banning the ivory trade within Massachusetts borders.
Photo Credit : Brent Stirton
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