Investigation stresses need to pass Oregon ballot initiative

A new investigation is shedding light onto the wildlife product market in Oregon and underscores the urgency of wildlife trade legislation.

The Save Endangered Animals (SEAO) coalition had undercover investigators pose as buyers of wildlife products at shops throughout Oregon. They found ivory carvings, pangolin scales, manta hides, and other products made from imperiled wildlife.

The investigation found 30 stores selling these items, with ivory being the most popular product. None of the businesses that were offering ivory had any documentation proving the ivory’s age, as required by federal law. In fact, many of the ivory items appeared brand new, which means they were likely made from recently poached elephants.

Demand for wildlife products like ivory is on the rise, and it is driving the slaughter of elephants and many other animals. As many as 35,000 elephants are poached each year for their ivory while more than 1 million pangolins were poached in the last decade for their scales and meat. More than 1,000 rhinos are poached each year due to outsized demand for their horn.

Oregon voters have a chance to make sure these products are taken off of the shelves. Measure 100 would prohibit the sale of products in Oregon that are made from a suite of imperiled wildlife species including elephants rhinos, sea turtles, pangolins, sharks and rays, big cat species like cheetahs, and others.

By passing Measure 100, Oregon would join West Coast neighbors Washington State and California, as well as Hawaii, New York, New Jersey as states that have restricted trade of wildlife products in recent years. At the federal level, The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently finalized regulations that all but ban interstate ivory trade.

Here at IFAW, we believe that ivory belongs on elephants, and pangolin scales on pangolins. These amazing creatures should be valued as living, breathing animals, not trinkets. Closing the domestic market for endangered wildlife products in Oregon is one step on the road to ensuring these animals are protected.


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Azzedine Downes,IFAW President and CEO
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Beth Allgood, Country Director, United States
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Cynthia Milburn, Director, Animal Welfare Outreach & Education
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Faye Cuevas, Esq.
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Grace Ge Gabriel, Regional Director, Asia
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Jason Bell, Vice President for Conservation and Animal Welfare
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Matt Collis, Director, International Policy
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