Celebrities pen open letter to stop wildlife trade in Hawaii

Today, a group of celebrities who live or work in Hawaii published an open letter in the Hawaii newspaper of record, the Honolulu Star Advertiser, urging citizens of the state to support Senate Bill No. 2647. The Bill proposes a law that would protect a suite of imperiled wildlife species, including rhinos, tigers, and elephants, by stopping the sale of their parts and products. 

The letter was signed by Keely & Pierce Brosnan, Lynn Fleetwood, Mick Fleetwood, Jorge Garcia, Pinky & Boom Gaspar, Laura & Woody Harrelson, Lezlee & Henry Kapono, Angela & Mike Kroeger, Aimee & Bill Kreutzmann, Peter Lenkov, Annie & Willie Nelson, Steven Tyler and Jill & Eddie Vedder.

Like these celebrities, an overwhelming majority of Hawaii residents – 85 percent by recent polls – support shutting down this bloody trade. With the Hawaii House of Representatives having just voted in favor of the legislation, it faces one final hurdle in the Senate.

Many of the species included in this bill are being decimated due to demand for luxury goods made from their ivory, fur, scales and horn. Stopping the trade of these needless products in Hawaii would be a worthwhile step in the effort to save threatened species like sea turtles, jaguars, and pangolins.

With New York and California recently passing bans on ivory and rhino horn sales, it is likely that Hawaii is now the largest unregulated market for such wildlife products in the United States.  In fact, a recent snap-shot investigation by IFAW and our partners found over 4,600 items—more than $1.2 million worth of ivory and related products—for sale by online vendors in the state.

We cannot keep looking the other way. If we leave these markets open in the US and around the globe, the demand for these parts will continue to push rare animals even closer to the edge of extinction. We hope that Hawaii citizens will echo the voices of these advocates by letting their legislators know they want to protect endangered wildlife before it’s too late.


Learn more about our work fighting wildlife crime by visiting our campaign page.

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Azzedine Downes,IFAW President and CEO
President and Chief Executive Officer
Beth Allgood, Country Director, United States
Country Director, United States
Cynthia Milburn, Director, Animal Welfare Outreach & Education
Senior Advisor, Policy Development
Dr. Joseph Okori
Regional Director, Southern Africa and Program Director, Landscape Conservation
Faye Cuevas, Esq.
Senior Vice President
Grace Ge Gabriel, Regional Director, Asia
Regional Director, Asia
Jason Bell, Vice President for Conservation and Animal Welfare
Vice President for Conservation and Animal Welfare
Executive Vice President
Executive Vice President
Patrick Ramage, Program Director, Whales
Program Director, Marine Conservation