One Of America’s Largest Ivory Markets May Finally Ban Sales

• The legislation would prohibit the sale, purchase and trade of animal parts from elephants, rhinos, tigers and whales.
• This is Hawaii’s third attempt at a ban, and if successful would follow California and New York.
• An estimated 100 African elephants are killed each day by poachers.

Amid warnings that Hawaii’s ivory market is poised to become the nation’s largest, state lawmakers have pushed forward a pair of bills aimed at banning the sale of “white gold” and other wild animal parts.

After two failed attempts in as many years, supporters of the proposed ban are optimistic this could be the year Hawaii finally steps up to help save African elephants, rhinos and other threatened species.

Inga Gibson, Hawaii senior state director for the Humane Society of the United States, told The Huffington Post that with increased educational campaigns and other states taking similar action, Hawaii has seen a “new level of awareness.”

“I think people are appalled that these items are being sold here and that we’re such a large market,” she said.

Senate Bill 2467 and House Bill 2502, although slightly different, would both prohibit the sale, purchase and trade of animal parts from a variety of species, including elephants, rhinos, tigers and whales.

Exempt from the proposed laws would be the sale of antiques at least 100 years old, products used for educational and scientific purposes, items used in traditional cultural practices, guns and knives with less than 20 percent ivory, and musical instruments manufactured before 1976 that contain less than 20 percent ivory or other animal parts. The bills would also not impact a person’s ability to possess ivory or other animal products.

Animal advocacy groups say the ban would help discourage poaching that is driven by —> Read More