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Ivory and Rhinoceros Horn Trafficking

S. 496: An Act relative to ivory and rhinoceros horn trafficking

MSPCA Position: Support
Sponsors: Senator Jason Lewis, Representative Lori Ehrlich
Status: Released favorably from the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture on January 13, 2020. Referred to Senate Committee on Ways & Means.

Summary: This bill will ensure that Massachusetts no longer contributes to the unprecedented global poaching crisis of elephant ivory and rhino horn. By restricting the sale, trade, and distribution of these products within our state, we will be closing a loophole in federal regulations, which, while already limiting this trade, do not apply to intrastate trade. Massachusetts plays a significant role in the illegal ivory and rhino horn markets, and it is time for our state to do its part, along with the 10 other states that have already passed similar legislation, to save elephants and rhinos from extinction. Learn more on the Ivory Free Massachusetts webpage.

Why is this bill needed?

Wildlife trafficking is an escalating global crisis.

Massachusetts is a major contributor to the illegal ivory trade.

Poaching is a national security issue.

What would this bill do?

Bring Massachusetts commerce laws in line with federal commerce regulations. 

Bring Massachusetts in line with other entities that have already passed laws to help save elephants and rhinos from extinction.

Establish the Endangered Elephant and Rhino Conservation and Education Fund.

This bill would NOT criminalize the possession of ivory that is currently owned by Massachusetts residents NOR would it prohibit the inheritance or noncommercial gifting of ivory.

In the news:

The bill is supported by:

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