New York celebrated World Elephant Day by signing into law the ban of ivory products in the state.
The law, which was passed by the legislature earlier this year, was signed by Governor Cuomo on Tuesday and aims to protect elephants and rhinoceros that are killed for their ivory tusks.
“Restricting the market for ivory articles will help bring an end to the slaughtering of elephants and rhinoceroses and sends a clear message that we will not allow the illegal ivory trade to continue in New York,” Cuomo said.
New York is the biggest market for the ivory trade in the United States and the second biggest market worldwide. Now that the law has been put into effect, no product containing ivory tusks from elephants, mammoths and rhinos can be sold in the state.
For the ones who defy it, the law enforces harsher penalties for the sale and trafficking of ivory products and felony charges if the products are worth more than $25,000. The only exception is for products that are over 100 years old and contain a small amount of ivory.
New York’s ban is part of a global push to protect wild animals from poachers. Approximately 35,000 elephants were killed last year by poachers and the rhino population has declined to a mere 29,000 worldwide also because of their tusks. Without these laws, elephants could very likely become extinct in our lifetime.
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