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In a historical move, Hong Kong announced Wednesday that it plans to ban the domestic ivory trade.In a historical move, Hong Kong announced Wednesday that it plans to ban the domestic ivory trade.

California Bans Ivory

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California Governor Jerry Brown signed state assembly bill AB 96 into law yesterday, which officially bans the sale of virtually all elephant ivory and rhino horn in the state.

Though California made it illegal to sell ivory in 1977, state law still permitted the sale of older ivory imported more than four decades ago. However, the new bill finally closes that loophole.

According to the new law, the selling of elephant ivory and rhino horn, including most antiques, is now illegal. Current owners can sell ivory and rhino horn up until July 1, 2016. After that, penalties reach up to a $50,000 fine and a year in prison.

Not surprisingly, the bill — which was named for the number of elephants killed every day in Africa — was celebrated by wildlife conservationists.

“With the passage of AB 96, California is leading by example in making the ivory and rhino horn trade a thing of the past. The new law will make enforcement a far easier matter and sends a clear signal to the rest of the world that ivory and rhino horn have no value here. We thank Governor Brown for his support and call on all U.S. states to join California, New York and New Jersey in banning this destructive trade,” said Peter Knights, CEO of WildAid, in a statement.

The good news follows President Obama‘s own announcement that his government is proposing a new rule that will ban the sale of virtually all ivory across state lines, as well as the recent commitment made between the U.S. and China to end the ivory trade.

With the possibility of elephants going extinct in a decade, California’s ivory ban couldn’t happen at a better time. We just hope more states will quickly follow suit.



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  • Leonard

    An excerpt from my Letters of Love for my sweet Fanny Lynn Busby…

    I could wax on and on
    From dusk til dawn
    About my sweet Fanny Lynn
    Again and again

    So please beware
    My sweet Fanny Fair
    The whispering bottom
    For it may
    On any given day
    Blow a hot one…

  • Robert_C

    Of course, lost in all of the discussion about ivory bans is the fact that it is still very much legal to kill elephants. That’s right. In fact, hunters regularly “cull” elephants. It happens all the time.
    Poaching is only part of the problem. The big problem is lack of land. Elephant herds need lots of land to thrive. As Africa becomes more agricultural, there is less land for the herds to roam.
    A lot of politicians are talking about the ivory market, but no one is talking about making sure that all hunting of elephants stops and that large spaces are made available to elephant herds.

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