Oregon bill to ban wildlife products on November ballot

Save Endangered Animals Oregon hand-delivered more than 150,000 signed petitions to the Secretary of State’s office in Salem to get a voter initiative on the ballot to ban the trade of wildlife products including ivory and rhino horn.A state voter initiative that would help save elephants, rhinos, and other endangered animals has enough signatures to be featured on the Oregon state ballot in November.

If passed, the measure would ban the trade of ivory, rhino horn, and other wildlife products made from imperiled species.

Demand for these products is the prime reason why elephants, rhinos and other amazing animals are being poached to extinction. (There are limited exemptions for musical instruments with a small amount of ivory and bona fide antiques.)

IFAW is working with the Save Endangered Animals Oregon (SEAO), a coalition of like-minded animal conservation groups dedicated to supporting this initiative. Hundreds of volunteers worked many hours through the first half of the year to gather enough signed petitions, and IFAW’s Oregonian supporters were among the thousands that added their signatures to the ballot.

In the end, SEAO hand-delivered more than 150,000 signed petitions to the Secretary of State’s office in Salem, easily surpassing the 129,000 signatures required.

Oregon’s ballot initiative would help to reinforce and strengthen similar state bills and voter initiatives being introduced and passed around the country, and is part of a global effort to end the trade of imperiled wildlife species once and for all.

New York, New Jersey, California, and Washington State have all passed measures that ban the trade of ivory and other wildlife products in the last two years. Just last month, Hawaii’s governor signed a bill into law that would ban the trade of wildlife products from a long list of imperiled species.

This follows the US government’s new regulations that aim to all but shut down the trade of ivory across state lines and federal lines.

The latest news from the Pacific Northwest moves Oregon one step closer to joining the ranks of states that are saying no to wildlife trade.

But the measure has not passed yet!

Much work is needed to be done to spread the word about the initiative and its importance to protecting the animals that we hold so dear. IFAW and SEAO will be on the campaign trail until Election Day in November, urging Oregonians to get out and vote for endangered wildlife.

--MH

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