Risser Bill Will Prohibit Sale and Purchase of Ivory

(MADISON)—State Senator Fred Risser (D-Madison) is proposing legislation that would prohibit the sale and purchase of ivory.

Said Risser, “Federal laws regarding the sale and purchase of ivory have a loophole allowing for the sale of antiques containing ivory which illegal ivory markets use to continue selling new ivory. It is imperative that we close loopholes in state law that allow this industry to survive.”

It is estimated that 35,000 African elephants are killed each year by ivory trafficking and poaching. According to the International Business Times, wildlife trafficking is the fourth-largest illegal business in the world and has contributed to the killing of 800,000 elephants in the last 30 years. Rhinoceros poaching is also on the rise—The Guardian reports that in South Africa alone, rhino poaching surged 18% from January through April of 2015 compared to the same period in 2014.

New Jersey and New York have passed similar legislation and 25 other states have considered taking similar steps to close these loopholes.