The only way to stop the slaughter of elephants and rhino is to ban trade everywhere demand exists for rhino horn and ivory.Washington voters have made their voices heard for wildlife by passing a critical measure on Tuesday. Ballot Initiative 1401 (I-1401), which is designed to protect a wide range of imperiled wildlife species from illegal trade, passed by an overwhelming margin—71 percent of voters were in favor.

Washington joins California, New York, and New Jersey as states that have passed laws banning the trade of ivory and rhino horn, and Washington’s initiative also encompasses lions, tigers, leopards, cheetahs, marine turtles, pangolins, sharks, and rays.

But, there is more work to do.

Illicit trade of wildlife products is the primary reason why an elephant is killed every 15 minutes, why 1,000 rhinos are killed each year, why 100,000 pangolins are taken from the wild each year, and why shark populations are crashing around the world. The only way to stop the slaughter is to ban trade in these products everywhere demand exists.

Additional bills are making their way through legislatures in states like Massachusetts and Illinois, while a ballot initiative in Oregon has recently been introduced. Meanwhile, the Federal government proposed strong regulations earlier this year that would curb ivory trade in and out of the United States. Momentum is swinging our way, but we need your help to make sure these laws don’t get watered down or halted for good.

Thank you, Washington voters, for showing that you value wildlife as living and breathing animals, not as useless trinkets or exotic meals. Stay tuned for upcoming chances to make your voice heard.

You can read the full text of I-1401, and learn more by visiting our coalition’s website at http://saveanimalsfacingextinction.org/ (note: this is an external site not run by IFAW).

–MH

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Article source: IFAW

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