Ivory Seizure In New York City

Legal ivory – ivory that predates the 1989 global ban on international ivory trade brought on by world-wide outrage over skyrocketing elephant poaching – is often indistinguishable from illegal ivory. Worse yet, obtaining documentation in New York to prove the "legality" of ivory just requires some simple paperwork.

Make no mistake – having a legal market for old ivory provides a front for the laundering of new ivory from recently-killed elephants.

One of the reasons New York State is a major destination for ivory is because of its lax laws. A 2008 survey found 11,300 ivory products for sale in Manhattan alone, making New York a top destination for ivory.

Thankfully, state lawmakers are considering instituting an immediate moratorium on the sale of all ivory in New York. If it happens, the law will come not a moment too soon given Africa's massive recent increase in elephant poaching plaguing Africa's elephants.

Tell your lawmakers you fully support an end to ivory sales in New York State and ask them to act quickly!

Recently, senior representatives from Botswana, Tanzania, and U.S. Federal and State authorities, testified in a hearing before New York State lawmakers about the elephant poaching crisis in Africa and the toll the illegal ivory trade is taking. They've heard from the experts. Now they need to know their constituents are behind them as well.

It's essential that New York State leads on this issue and sets an example for other U.S. states as well as the Federal Government. New York City specifically is a major hub for the illegal ivory trade, and stopping the sale of ivory here could make a major impact on demand and lead the U.S. and other countries in the fight to save Africa's elephants.

Information about the elephant crisis is fresh in the legislators' minds from the hearing; the next step is to introduce a bill that would institute a moratorium on all purchases and sales of ivory in New York. But first, lawmakers need to know that this issue is important to New Yorkers.

Together, we can stop this crisis that’s hiding in plain sight all over New York. Ask your lawmakers to introduce a bill to stop ivory sales.

New Yorkers won't stand for this. You won't let poachers and ivory traffickers win. If you agree, please do something about it right now. Let's get this done.