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Hawaii Legislation

Sponsor(s): Sen. Clayton Hee (D-23)

H.B. 493: Ivory Trade Restrictions [2014]

Born Free USA Position: SUPPORT

Update (May 1, 2014): This bill failed to pass before the 2014 session ended.

Note: This bill was introduced after another ivory trade ban, S.B. 2040/H.B. 2183, died in February 2014.

Bill Description:
This bill would prohibit a person from importing, selling, offering to sell, or possessing with the intent to sell any ivory product. It defines "ivory product" as ivory from elephants, hippopotamuses, walruses, whales, and narwhals.

Exemptions:

  • Antique ivory (at least 100 years old)
  • Ivory illegally imported prior to 1975 if from an Asian elephant or prior to 1990 if from an African elephant - provided that the seller can demonstrate that the ivory product meets the requirements per the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in "Administrative Actions to Strengthen U.S. Trade Controls for Elephant Ivory, Rhinoceros Horn, and Parts and Products of Other Species Listed Under the Endangered Species Act" (Director's Order No. 210 dated February 25, 2014)
  • Background:
    African elephants are nearing extinction due to the high price of ivory and consumer demand. An average of 96 elephants are slaughtered daily by poachers. The U.S. is the second largest ivory market in the world, after China. Legislation banning the trade in ivory is aimed at reducing the demand for this product. Read more about the horrific ivory trade here.

    And be sure to read the summary of our Ivory’s Curse report, which details the groundbreaking information uncovered by our investigation of illegal wildlife trafficking in Africa.

    We support any bill that reduces ivory trade but prefer no exemptions for so-called antiques. Any progress is beneficial, however, so we believe this is the first step toward a uniform prohibition.

    Read the full text here.

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