Each year, more than 35,000 African elephants are slaughtered by ivory-seeking poachers, and more than 1,300 rhinos were killed for their horns in 2015 alone. African elephant populations once numbered at 10 million and rhino populations were 70,000 in 1960, but less than 470,000 elephants and fewer than 25,000 black and white rhinos remain in the wild. With ivory selling for $1,000 per pound and rhino horn selling for $45,000, strong law enforcement is crucial to stop their illegal trade, and to prevent terrorist groups like Boko Haram from profiting from their sale.
Surprisingly, the sale, trade, barter, and purchase of all ivory products and rhino horns is illegal in only four states: New York, New Jersey, California, and Hawaii. The U.S. government currently bans the import of all commercial African elephant ivory products, but without federal legislation banning all ivory imports, exports, and sales, numerous loopholes remain – and ivory commerce is still legal within state borders without state action.
At least 20 states have introduced legislation to ensure they have no part in the ivory and rhino horn trade, but it’s past time to finish the job and protect the precious few elephants and rhinos that remain in the wild.
Urge the Maryland legislature to protect endangered wildlife today!
To fight terrorism and protect endangered wildlife, we urge you to ban the sale and transfer of all ivory and rhino horn products.