Note: New Jersey’s proposed ivory ban measure is up for a vote in the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee in June. Elephants DC founder and president Jen Samuel has proven a tireless advocate for helping elephants in this critical time. Read her own moving words below on why you should support this vital New Jersey legislation:The world is watching New Jersey as lawmakers move forward with historic legislation to ban ivory sales. Elephants DC is so grateful to have Senator Raymond Lesniak as our champion in the State Senate turning the tide for elephants by sponsoring S.2012 this spring. Concurrently we are very grateful that Assemblyman Raj Mukherji is advancing this groundbreaking measure in the State Assembly with bill A.3128.
Senator Lesniak, as one of New Jersey’s most senior and respected lawmakers, brings leadership and a strong voice to this important task. Assemblyman Mukherji, as one of the youngest members of the State Assembly at 28, is embodying the voice of his generation by advocating for legislation that will not only benefit New Jerseyans but all citizens. This is legislation that can help create a better world.
The elephants are a keystone, guardian species who have roamed the earth for 35 million years. Hundreds of other species rely on them for survival in the wild as they migrate together seeking water and shelter. The ivory trade is threatening the biodiversity of the planet and funding an international criminal network, thereby threatening American security.
New Jersey can make a difference to save elephants from extinction, and Senator Lesniak and Assemblyman Mukherji are our heroes in this charge. Banning ivory sales will close the loopholes that smugglers are currently using to move illegal ivory and rhino horn shipments from the New Jersey transit hub into the streets of New York City for open market commerce under the guise of “antique” and “mammoth” or “bone” and “jewelry.”
The New Jersey ivory ban measure will be heard next by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee this month in Trenton. If it advances sans referral both S.2012 and A.3128 will then move forward to their respective chambers for full floor votes. This is history in the making. The world is watching. Everyone who loves elephants has an opportunity to support this historic measure by writing support and thanks to Senator Lesniak and Assemblyman Mukherji today.
In 100 years people will not remember the cover of a top circulated glossy magazine or even the lead story on today’s New York Times. But people will remember that in 2014 – a year in which poachers killed on average 96 wild elephants each day – the State of New Jersey took a stand for future generations, a more secure nation, and a better world by banning ivory sales once and for all.
Quite simply if New Jersey passes this bipartisan measure it will be a game changer in the fight to save elephants. New Jersey stands with the elephants and with every child’s right to grow up in a world where these incredible and beloved species still thrive.
We are standing tall in the Garden State against global wildlife traffickers who are turning approximately a $19 billion annual profit that is literally funding terrorists. New Jersey can change they way human beings treat endangered species. The day we place value on the precious lives of elephants and rhinos, by asking citizens to stop profiting from their deaths, will mark the beginning of a great and wonderful change for all humankind.
It will take a strong state such as New Jersey to be fearless and bold enough to stand up to the poachers, smugglers, and buyers who help cycle the $19 billion illegal wildlife trade. New Jersey can do what is right, what is just, and what is kind for future generations and all citizens by saving elephants and rhinos from extinction.