New York is largest ivory market in the nation
Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a significant wildlife conservation bill into law today, A. 10143. Introduced by Assemblyman Robert Sweeney (D-11) and Senators Andrew Lanza (R-24) and Tony Avella (D-11), the bill seeks to reduce the trade in ivory and rhinoceros horn. Illegal trafficking of these products is directly responsible for shocking declines in wild populations in recent years.
According to Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, "The elephant poaching epidemic across Africa has reached crisis levels, and rhino poaching is escalating exponentially. As the largest ivory market in the nation, New York bears a significant responsibility to lead the way with legislative solutions. We applaud Governor Cuomo for taking this crucial step in conservation."
The new law amends the environmental conservation statute to restrict the sale and distribution of ivory and rhino horn articles. It also increases the penalties for the illegal commercialization of wildlife.
The elephant poaching crisis has become increasingly severe and it is estimated that more than 86,000 elephants have been poached since January 2012. "If the killing rate continues, certain African elephant populations could be extinct within a decade," says Roberts. "As proven in our recent groundbreaking report, Ivory's Curse, illegal ivory trafficking is exploited by transnational criminal networks that enable terrorism, weapons, and human trafficking, feeding devastating violence and instability in Africa."