Illegal poaching and wildlife trafficking is the fourth largest transnational crime behind weapon, drug, and human trafficking, and funds other types of violence and criminal organizations across the globe. Passing I-1401 will help reduce that violence. In addition, many of the animals protected by I-1401 are killed for medicinal use despite no real evidence of the efficacy of these expensive treatments.
While New York and New Jersey have passed laws to protect elephants and rhinos, I-1401 will prohibit and strengthen the penalties for the sale, purchase and distribution of products made from a list of 10 endangered animals: elephants, rhinos, lions, tigers, leopards, cheetahs, marine turtles, pangolins, sharks and rays. Despite widespread public opposition to these practices, powerful special interest groups continue to lobby state legislatures and Congress to oppose common sense laws that would protect iconic species slipping toward extinction.
I-1401 would ban the sale or purchase of products made from endangered and exploited animals, including elephants, rhinos, lions, tigers, cheetahs, leopards, pangolins, marine turtles, sharks and rays. It will be the first statewide ballot measure to help protect iconic species on the verge of being slaughtered into extinction. Passing it will set a national, and perhaps even international, precedent.
But first, at least 325,000 signatures must be collected by July to make the November ballot, in addition to building a robust, statewide campaign.
Full text of the initiative here.