SCI Addresses Proposed Washington State Ivory Ban

firstforhunterselephantcloseupChip Burkhalter, Director of Government Affairs in SCI’s DC office, has written an article for the Spokesman Review explaining why Washington Ballot Initiative 1401 would not stop poaching in Africa.

Initiative 1401 is on the Washington ballot this November and would make the act of selling, offering to sell, purchasing, trading, bartering for or distributing any covered animal species or product, including ivory illegal. Burkhalter explained how ivory ban proponents don’t rely, “on science and economics [but] are motivated to choke the global demand for ivory by setting an example for smugglers in China and elsewhere in Asia.”

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has stated, “there is no significant trade of illegal ivory into this country, and the continued sale of lawfully owned ivory in the United States would not increase poaching.” Why does Washington State need another law when there are federal and state laws that already make selling or trafficking ivory and other products of endangered species illegal?

Sound scientific principles are the best way to manage wildlife and habitat. Although supporters of Initiative 1401 may think emotionally based campaigns are preferable, such responses brought in the name of conservation often fail to be in the best interest of wildlife. Ignorance and prejudices of anti-hunters should not overcome the scientific evidence that shows hunting provides invaluable support for wildlife, habitat management, and conservation, including anti-poaching efforts. Hunters and hunting remain one of the strongest forces for wildlife conservation.

Read his full piece, “I-1401 Won’t Affect Global of Ivory Trade,” here:


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