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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: February 2, 2017 02:28 PM
From: Representative Madeleine Dean and Rep. Tarah Toohil
To: All House members
Subject: Legislation prohibiting the import, sale, purchase, barter of ivory or rhinoceros horn
 
In the near future we plan to re-introduce legislation, in a bi-partisan manner, that will sanction the ivory and rhinoceros horn importation to Pennsylvania in addition to selling, purchasing bartering and possession with the intent to sale.

One elephant is killed every 15 minutes for ivory, which is approximately 35,000 elephants killed annually. In South Africa alone, a staggering 1,215 rhinos were killed by poachers in 2014, that’s one every eight hours. This is a global crisis and immediate action is needed in order to save this keystone species from extinction.

The federal government restricts the export, import and interstate commerce of ivory and rhinoceros horn. However, intrastate traffic is unregulated by the federal government, therefore we have a duty to take action now and help save these species from extinction for future generations of Pennsylvanians.

The illegal trade of ivory is not only a humanitarian issue, but also one of national security. Revenues from ivory is linked to terrorism. According to the U.S. Department of State, the White House, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the U.S. Department of Interior including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – the ivory trade directly funds Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Shabaab, the Lord’s Resistance Army, Janjaweed, Boko haram, among other terrorist organizations.

Our legislation will amend Title 18 (Crimes & Offenses) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes ~ in riot, disorderly conduct & related offenses, providing for prohibiting the import, sale, purchase, barter, or possession with intent to sale, ivory or rhinoceros horn.

Violators of this subsection commit a misdemeanor of the second degree and shall upon conviction be sentenced as follows:
  • First offense, a fine of not less than $1,000
  • Second or subsequent offense, a fine of not less than $5,000 or an amount equal to two times the total value of the ivory, ivory products, rhinoceros horn or rhinoceros horn products, whichever is greater
The ivory and rhinoceros horn trade consists of 3 parts: poaching, trafficking, and buying. We have the power in the U.S.A to stop the demand at home.

Please consider co-sponsoring this important legislation.



Introduced as HB248