Legislators Also Concurrently Ban State Sales of Rhino Horn
Victory! The New Jersey State Assembly overwhelmingly approved a bill banning ivory and rhino horn sales on Monday, making New Jersey the first state in our Nation to take a definitive stand against wildlife trafficking.
The historic measure passed with a landslide vote of 76-2 in the State Assembly, where it was advanced by Assemblyman Raj Mukherji. Last week, it received unanimous support in the State Senate under the leadership of the bill’s first sponsor and champion, Senator Raymond J. Lesniak.
New Jersey’s bill is a crucial step in the fight against a brutal wildlife trafficking industry that turns a $19 billion profit worldwide. With elephant poaching reaching crisis levels in Africa, and the profits from the illegal ivory trade funding terrorist organizations such as the al Qaeda-affiliated Al-Shabaab and the Lord’s Resistance Army, this legislation is a loud and proud statement that New Jersey will have no part in the blood ivory trade.
The groundbreaking measure in the Garden State also has national implications for combating wildlife trafficking. As Assemblyman Mukherji told Elephants DC, the first organization to advocate for the bill, “New Jersey is critical to the national effort in closing the ivory market. Nefarious evildoers are using our state to smuggle raw ivory and other illegal wildlife products into New York City, the number one buyer of ivory within the United States.”
New Jersey’s bold stand is bound to inspire other states to take action against wildlife trafficking, as well. “Illegal ivory threatens the very existence of elephants on the face of the earth,” said Senator Lesniak. “We know [this bill] will be an inspiration to other states, Congress, and indeed other countries in the world to follow our lead.”
Here at Elephants DC, we are extremely proud of New Jersey for fighting back against the brutal poaching epidemic. “This bill is the strongest in the nation, and lawmakers refused to amend it with ivory carve out exemptions,” said Elephants DC founder and president Jen Samuel. “All we can say is: ‘Thank you New Jersey, and bless you!'”
Up Next: The bill is now advancing onward to the desk of the Governor, who will have the opportunity to sign it into law.
Have a few moments? Please share your thanks with New Jersey’s elephant heroes, and stay tuned for how you can help next.
- Thank New Jersey’s Leaders. Send a Twitter, Facebook, or email note to Senator Lesniak to thank him for his heroic support of this important legislation. And then you can do the same for Assemblyman Mukherji: find him on Twitter, Facebook, or email.
- Join the Herd and Stay in the Loop. Follow our Elephants DC Facebook page for upcoming opportunities to help advocate for elephants – in New Jersey, nationwide, and globally.