Washington State: Voting to Protect Animals from Illegal Trade

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) is proud to support a ballot measure in Washington state that would defend a wide range of species from illegal wildlife trade.

Ballot initiative 1401 would prohibit trade in ten different threatened and endangered animals, including elephants, rhinos, lions, tigers, leopards, cheetahs, marine turtles, pangolins, sharks and rays.

On November 3, Washington voters will get the opportunity to decide for themselves whether to be part of the solution to the poaching crisis.

In several other states, groups like the National Rifle Association are trying to undermine beneficial legislation on this issue, but a ballot initiative like Washington’s cuts through this noise and lets us make a simple choice: Do we want to safeguard these animals, or not?

By voting “Yes” on I-1401, we can make sure that people power beats special interest influence.

The port of Seattle should be a hub for legitimate trade, not for turtle shells, big cat skins, or ivory carvings. SeaTac, Bellingham, and Spokane international airports should be stopovers for travelers, not traffickers. 

Washingtonians agree: Almost 350,000 people have signed on to the initiative (well over the 246,000 signatures required to get on the ballot), and extensive polling shows strong support for the measure across the political spectrum. It will be important to turn out voters at the polls in November, but we’re excited by the overwhelmingly positive early response.

Clearly, the state is a good bet to boost the momentum for the rest of the country, joining New York, New Jersey, and California (when Governor Brown signs the bill), which have already passed important laws protecting elephants.

--PL

Learn more by visiting our coalition’s website at http://saveanimalsfacingextinction.org/ (note: this is an external site not run by IFAW). We’ll be sending a get-out-the-vote reminder as we get closer to election time, so keep an eye on your inbox and start spreading the word!

[Sponsored by the International Fund for Animal Welfare, 290 Summer Street, Yarmouth Port, MA, in coordination with Save Animals Facing Extinction]

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Azzedine Downes,IFAW President and CEO
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Céline Sissler-Bienvenu, Director, France and Francophone Africa
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Dr. Elsayed Ahmed Mohamed, Regional Director, Middle East and North Africa
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Peter LaFontaine, Campaigns Manager, IFAW Washington, D.C.
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Rikkert Reijnen, Program Director, Wildlife Crime
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Tania McCrea-Steele, Project Lead, Global Wildlife Cybercrime
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Vivek Menon, Director of IFAW partner, Wildlife Trust of India
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