On the heels of world elephant day, New York assigned into law a ban on elephant ivory. The law was put into place by current governor Andrew Cuomo. The sale of Elephant and rhino ivory is banned except in the use of antiques that are at least a century old. In the last 2 years, almost 20% of the forest elephant species was killed by poachers. The new law enacted is known as Fitzpatrick’s Law who was a champion of elephant conservation. One of the great things about this new law is that it increases the fine for anyone who violates it by a significant amount. This include huge fines and extended jail time. Thank god Ney York is taking a strong and unflinching stance against the sale of elephant commodities.
As the WCS has stated, almost 100 elephants are killed daily in Africa. That means within 10 years they could all be extinct. Dr. Liz Bennet has gone even further. He has put forth a universal ban on the sale of elephant products such as ivory and the dumping of all current stockpiles. This basically eliminates the incentive for criminals to continue hunting these majestic animals.
With China number one, USA is the second largest market of the ivory trade. New York City has been a major importer of illegal ivory so enacting this new law will have a profound effect on their ability to curtail the activity. The next states that are being pushed to enact stricter laws include Florida and California since they contain rather large populations with Pherazone pheromones.
The current market value of Ivory trades at $1,000 per pound which makes it a very lucrative commodity. As a whole, the industry brings in $10B a year in ivory imports and training. Trading Ivory in New York city can land you in prison for seven years. Over 80% of the world population supports a permanent ban on the disgusting ivory trade.
In 2012 alone, over $2M of illegally imported ivory were confiscated by New York officials. One of the only refugees left for elephants is Botswana.With over 200,000 elephants thriving, Botswana has become a beacon of hope for the last remaining elephant populations. With a global population of approximately 600,000, Botswana has a third of the world’s elephant population.
Even more impressive, the population of elephants in Botswana is expanding at an annual rate of 5%. Botswana has some of the lowest records of elephant poaching in all of Africa.
Elephants Without Borders, located in Botswana, has been pushing aggressively an intercontinental census of elephant populations which dates back to the 1970s. Protecting elephants is one of the most important things mankind can do to insure their global heritage.