Target: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
Goal: Applaud efforts to save elephants and rhinos from rampant poaching
New legislation in New York greatly tightens restrictions on the sale of elephant ivory, mammoth ivory and rhino horn in the hopes of stemming the horrific slaughter of endangered animals worldwide. The trade in ivory has been banned internationally since 1989 and rhino horn has been banned since 1976, but continuing high demand, porous borders and light punishment for offenders have allowed a steady decline in elephant and rhino populations due to poaching.
In 2013, a record 1,004 rhinos were killed, mostly for the supposed medicinal properties of their keratin horns. A staggering 22,000 African elephants were slaughtered in 2012, slightly under the record 25,000 killed in 2011. African elephants are killed for their ivory, which is used for jewelry, electrical appliances and equipment and decorative carvings.
Efforts to stem rampant poaching at the root have done little good. Huge parks are patrolled by rangers and altercations with poachers regularly lead to gunfire. There is too much land for rangers to cover and poachers often posses advanced equipment. Sometimes rangers don’t find the disfigured carcasses until well after the poachers have fled.
The most viable solution to save these giants is to disrupt the demand and block the supply of the illegal materials. Governor Cuomo of New York has recently taken steps to do just that. In August, 2014, New York became the second state—after New Jersey—to greatly improve on federal regulation and the state’s own environmental law. The amendments more strictly control the sale of ivory, issuing permits for the sale of ivory under stricter conditions, keeping newly acquired ivory out of the market and seriously limiting the sale of old ivory. The new law also threatens heavy punishment for violators, with fines correlating directly to the amount of ivory found and up to seven years imprisonment for some violations.
Sign this petition in support of New York’s increased commitment to saving these threatened species from the brink of extinction.
Dear Governor Cuomo,
The high worldwide demand for elephant ivory and rhino horn is pushing elephants and rhinos to extinction. In 2012 alone 22,000 elephants were killed, and current estimates suggest that only between 350,000 to 500,000 elephants remain. Wildlife refuges and parks cannot protect the animals against such concentrated and organized poaching with any efficiency, and the best way to stem the supply is to block the demand.
The recent legislation amending New York’s ivory ban is proof of the state’s commitment to protecting wildlife. I support and commend improved and increased regulation on the sale of elephant ivory, mammoth ivory and rhino horn.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Ventus55 via Wikimedia Commons
Original petition: Support Ban on New York Ivory Trade