B.C. strengthens grizzly bear hunting ban with new regulations

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End Trophy Hunting in the National Park Where Cecil the Lion Was Brutally Murdered

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/news/end-trophy-hunting-national-park-cecil-lion-brutally-murdered/

We all know his name … it appeared on countless news channels … he was even projected on the Empire State Building. Cecil the lion’s tragic death brought trophy hunting to the forefront of global conversation like no other case did. People from all walks of life spoke out, changed their Facebook profile pictures, and donated money to the cause, but as media hype died down, the vast majority forgot all about it after a few short weeks. Unfortunately, trophy hunting is still happening and innocent animals are still suffering – in the same place Cecil called home.

A petition on Care2 has been launched demanding that the Zimbabwean government intervene and stop allowing heartless trophy hunters to kill endangered animals around Hwange National Park. This is where Walter Palmer paid $50,000 to brutally end Cecil’s life without even actually “hunting.” Many other disturbing facts behind the infamous case are being brought to light in a new book by the man who studied Cecil for eight years before the tragedy, including how Cecil was lured to the nearby conservatory where lion research was performed and how the Zimbabwe government slid it all under the rug.

The bottom line is that as long as trophy hunting is allowed, animals will be murdered for profit. If Cecil’s story touched you, signing the petition is a simple step you can take in his honor. There is no reason this had to happen to Cecil, and no other animal should be put in the position of being murdered and tortured for the pleasure of cruel and evil trophy hunters. Zimbabwe’s government needs to be held accountable for not taking the crime seriously, and it’s time they call an end to all trophy hunting in and around Hwange National Park once and for all!

Buzz Petition

Tell the Trump Administration: Stop Promoting International Trophy Hunting!

https://act.nrdc.org/letter/trophy-hunting

In a new low, the Trump administration has created an advisory council dedicated exclusively to promoting the killing of imperiled wildlife species for sport.

Filled with trophy hunters and gun industry lobbyists, the International Wildlife Conservation Council now wields considerable influence over America’s international hunting policies, putting the future of vulnerable species like elephants, lions, and giraffes at grave risk.

Tell Interior President Trump and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to stop promoting international trophy hunting and immediately dismantle the IWCC.

Your message will be sent to:

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke
President Donald Trump

Subject line:

Dismantle the International Wildlife Conservation Council

(Consider adding your own thoughts — personalized messages are especially effective)

Your Information

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Email address*
Street address

Denali Wolf Update: A little good news, more bad news

The Alaska Department of Fish & Game approved an Emergency Order closing the wolf hunting/trapping season adjacent to Denali National Park. However, the proposed Denali Buffer legislation is stalled in the Legislature, and controversy sparked over a hunter’s braggadocio photos of dead wolves east of the Park.

First, a little good news: ADF&G issued an Emergency Order immediately closing the Stampede Trail corridor (state land along the northeast boundary of the Park, home to the most easily viewed wolves along the Park Road) to hunting and trapping wolves.

A formal request for the Order was submitted March 24 based on information from Park biologists that five radio-collared Park wolves already had been killed by hunting/trapping this winter. Because only about one in four wolves are collared, there was concern that the total harvest would be much higher – and unfortunately it is. According to the ADF&G, eight wolves were killed so far this winter in the Stampede area, twice the average annual number. That total will increase again when the final state harvest report and spring Park wolf survey are complete.

According to the Order, hunting in the area was closed effective April 2, and the trapping season will end April 9. The seasons were scheduled to end April 15 and April 30, respectively. Trappers have 30 days after the season to report their harvest, so the final tally of wolves killed won’t be known until mid-May.

One of the wolves (apparently) trapped was the alpha male of the Riley Creek pack, which claims territory along the Park Road west of the entrance. Sightings of members of the Riley Creek pack increased the likelihood of visitors seeing wolves from about 5 percent in prior years to 17 percent last summer. Loss of the alpha male is critical to the future of the pack: the remaining wolves may fail to produce pups this spring, or disburse altogether. In recent years the loss of key breeding wolves resulted in the demise of the Grant Creek and Toklat packs; both had territories adjacent to the Riley Creek wolves.

AWA and other groups solicited comments to ADF&G Commissioner Sam Cotten in support of the emergency closure request. Our concerns were heard in the administration, although in practice the closure shaves only a very minimal amount of time off of the full hunting/trapping seasons.

Bad news: Just a day before the emergency closure request was submitted, the Alaska Senate Resources Committee “set aside” House Bill 105, which would establish a no wolf hunting/trapping buffer on state lands adjacent to Denali’s northeastern boundary. That action stalls – and more than likely kills – the legislation.

Again, AWA and others solicited public comments in favor of HB105 for the Committee hearing. Many were received – so many that Committee Chair Cathy Giessel (R-Anchorage) actively solicited comments from the opposition. In a public online trapping forum, Sen. Giessel wrote to Fairbanks trapper Al Barrette:

“…If there are others who oppose the bill, please have them send emails, Al.

I have literally hundreds of support emails…and your one opposition email.”

Rep. Andy Josephson (D-Anchorage) sponsored the bill and worked tirelessly to get it passed by the full House last May, which was a rare win for pro-wildlife legislation. He predicted it was a long shot to move ahead in the more conservative-minded Senate, and that proved true at its first committee hurdle. Nevertheless we owe Andy a heartfelt “thank you” for his heroic work on this and other bills supporting wildlife and the environment.

Bad news, illustrated. The Denali wolf controversy flared on social media last weekend when graphic photos circulated of a hunter proudly posing with an AK-15 semiautomatic rifle, snowmachine and 10 dead wolves. The two photos can be viewed on our website at:http://akwildlife.org/february-2018-wolf-kill-photos/

(Warning: they are graphic and disturbing.)

The initial anonymous email accompanying the photos implied they were Denali wolves killed in the nearby Healy area. When queried, ADF&G and the Alaska Wildlife Troopers issued a press release asserting that the wolves were not killed in the Stampede corridor/Denali area, but were harvested legally about 70 miles east of Denali in February. (Therefore it is unknown if the wolves denned in or could have been seen in the Park.)

However, without a buffer to protect wolves from hunting/trapping, such killing is legal – and certainly does occur – adjacent to the Park boundary.

Furthermore, such egregious killing is all too common statewide under the guise of Alaska’s ongoing Intensive Management (predator control) programs utilizing extended harvest seasons and liberal (or non-existent) harvest limits across multiple species, including bears and coyotes. This “slaughter”, not to be confused with reasonably regulated “hunting” using the principles of fair-chase, is commonplace across Alaska. It’s just not often the public is able to see the perpetrators’ brazen bragging.

If you have not already done so, please sign the online petition, started by Among Wolvesco-author Marybeth Holleman in 2015, asking the federal and state governments to agree to create a no-wolf-kill buffer adjacent to Denali. To date 360,000+ people have signed on.  https://www.thepetitionsite.com/423/700/229/halt-the-killing-of-denali-national-park-wolves/ 

Finally, again, thank you for supporting the Denali wolves and AWA. We are sorry we don’t have better news to report, but accomplishing anything “pro-wildlife” in this state where most politicians are openly “pro hunter/trapper” is an uphill struggle. However, there are still other avenues to pursue, and we will always keep up the fight for these wolves and all of Alaska’s wildlife.

Fur is dead: Animal welfare groups cheer San Francisco ban

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco supervisors voted unanimously to ban the sale of fur, further burnishing the city’s animal-loving credentials as it becomes the largest U.S. city to approve the prohibition.

Animal welfare advocates around the world cheered news of Tuesday’s vote, applauding the city for its compassion and hoping that the legislation will catch on.

The ban takes effect Jan. 1 and applies to apparel and accessories featuring real fur, including coats, key chains and gloves. An amendment added Tuesday allows furriers and other retailers to sell current inventory until January 1, 2020.

Wayne Hsiung, co-founder of animal rights network Direct Action Everywhere, said in a statement that “this historic act will usher in a new wave of animal rights legislation across the globe.”

Retailers in San Francisco, however, balked at what they called another social mandate at the cost of their ability to make a living.

“It should be a citywide public vote, it shouldn’t be decided by the Board of Supervisors,” said Skip Pas, chief executive officer of West Coast Leather, which sells fur-trimmed items but deals largely in leather.

San Francisco, named for the patron saint of animals, has a reputation for a strong social conscience, often at a cost to businesses.

Its board banned the sale of menthol cigarettes and other flavored tobacco, which voters will consider in June. In 2016, San Francisco approved what was then a groundbreaking paid parental leave law, requiring private employers to offer six weeks of fully paid leave.

Katy Tang, the supervisor behind the fur ban legislation, has successfully pushed to prohibit performances by exotic animals and to forbid the sale of non-rescue cats and dogs from pet stores.

Mayor Mark Farrell said he plans to sign the legislation.

About 50 clothing and accessory retailers downtown will be affected by the legislation, said Jim Lazarus, senior vice president of public policy at the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. Reselling vintage and used fur by outlets not usually in the business of trading fur, such as secondhand stores, pawn shops and nonprofits, will still be allowed.

The chamber estimates San Francisco fur sales account for at least $40 million a year. The city’s Office of Economic Analysis estimated fur sales at $11 million in 2012, based on census figures.

The city says even if sales numbers are much higher than its estimate a prohibition is unlikely to significantly harm the overall local economy.

The Fur Information Council of America and the International Fur Federation wrote to supervisors before the vote, seeking to partner with the city to launch a rigorous certification program that it said would ensure animal and environmental health.

The organizations did not have immediate comment on Tuesday’s vote.

The prohibition will hit retailers large and small, although smaller businesses will probably have a harder time adjusting. Luxury department stores Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue both feature fur salons. Representatives for the stores did not respond to requests for comment.

Benjamin Lin, 72, owns B.B. Hawk in the South of Market neighborhood. His showroom features chinchilla, sable, fox, and Blackglama mink.

He is considering keeping his current location but selling fur at a smaller place nearby, outside San Francisco.

“I cannot fight it,” he said of the ban. “I will not win. I do not have the energy and the money.”

San Francisco joins two other California cities, West Hollywood and Berkeley, in saying no to fur.

Conservation groups sue to overturn trophy hunting decision

(CNN)Several animal conservation groups are challenging in court the Trump administration’s recent decision to consider big game trophy import applications on a case-by-case basis.

The groups — which include the Center for Biological Diversity, Humane Society International and Humane Society of the United States — said Tuesday that they are asking a federal court in Washington, DC, to rule that the US Fish and Wildlife Service did not follow the proper process to make its March 1 decision, which withdrew a series of Endangered Species Act findings that apply to some African elephants, lions and bontebok, a type of antelope.
The groups also say the decision violates the Endangered Species Act.
Justice Department spokesman Wyn Hornbuckle told CNN that the department is reviewing the amendment complaint.
Tuesday’s filing amends a lawsuit the conservation groups filed in November, when the FWS, under Interior Department Secretary Ryan Zinke, announced it would accept applications on elephant trophy imports from Zimbabwe and Zambia.
In November, President Donald Trump then ordered that decision be blocked and called trophy hunting a “horror show.”
In December, a federal appeals court ruled in a separate trophy hunting case brought by proponents of the practice, including Safari Club International, ordering FWS and the Department of Interior to reconsider past decisions on trophy imports.
And a few days after the March 1 decision, Zinke told Congress no applications have been approved under the case-by-case guidelines.

South Sudan bans wildlife hunting

Source: Xinhua   2018-03-06 21:25:35
 http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-03/06/c_137020350.htm

JUBA, March 6 (Xinhua) — South Sudan on Tuesday banned all forms of wildlife hunting, including commercial trade in wildlife trophies, the country’s conservation agency said Tuesday.

The ministry of wildlife conservation and tourism banned wildlife products such as skin, meat, fur, bird feathers, among others.

According to the directive, any person caught dealing with wildlife products shall be arrested, prosecuted and those found guilty would face a two-year jailed term or fines.

Thomas Sebit, deputy spokesman of the ministry of wildlife conservation and tourism, told Xinhua that the ban seeks to clamp down on poaching of wild animals in the country’s national parks.

He said the government recently noticed increased poaching of gazelles, buffaloes and elephants by armed groups and civilians across the country.

“There are people who are holding guns, they go to the national parks and kill our animals randomly not discriminating whether old or young. You get cooked bush meat in hotels and being sold in markets openly,” Sebit said.

War-torn South Sudan has the world’s second largest animal migration and is considered a good place for ecotourism, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).

The East African country is also known for its vast swamp region of the Sudd, sometimes referred to as one of the largest wetlands in the world hosting about 400 species of birds.

However, the tourism industry made up only 1.8 percent of South Sudan’s GDP, WTTC said in 2013.

“We are urging our citizens to respect the law. These are animals for us and will help us in the future when well managed to boost our economy,” Sebit appealed.

Renewed calls on Irish Govt to end fur farming as Norway announces ban

Irish Council Against Blood Sports ICABS

Ireland, Ireland

JAN 17, 2018 — There are renewed calls on the Irish Government to end fur farming as Norway this week announces that a total ban will come into affect.

Norway’s government has pledged to shut down all of the country’s 250+ fur farms by 2025, becoming the 14th European nation to phase out fur farming.

Meanwhile in Ireland, where just three fur farms remain, the government has so far refused to take action to stop this vile industry. Please join us in renewing an appeal to Agriculture Minister Michael Creed and the Irish Government to put in place a fur farming ban.

Watch our video footage of mink caged on Ireland’s largest fur farm in Laois
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvX1O9GvsQ4

ACTION ALERT

Demand a ban on fur farming in Ireland. Contact Prime Minister Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Agriculture Minister Michael Creed now.

Email “Ban fur farming NOW” to Leo.Varadkar@oir.iemichael.creed@oir.ietaoiseach@taoiseach.gov.ieAnimalHealthAndWelfareAct@agriculture.gov.ie

Tel: +353 (0)1 6194000 (Leo Varadkar)
Tel: 01-607 2000 or LoCall 1890-200510 (Michael Creed)
Tweet: @campaignforleo @creedcnw Ban fur farming NOW
Comment on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/campaignforleo/
https://www.facebook.com/michaelcreedtd

“Norway pledges to shut down all fox and mink fur farms by 2025” – Read the Independent UK report
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/norway-fur-farm-ban-close-deadline-20225-mink-fox-animal-rights-erna-solberg-a8162196.html

Norway is banning all fur farms
Norway’s government has pledged to shut all fur farms by 2025, a move welcomed by animal rights charities. The country is the 14th…

First Nations hunters to be exempt from B.C. grizzly ban

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/bc-ends-grizzly-bear-hunt-calls-it-no-longer-socially-acceptable/article37367514/

The Globe and Mail

A sub adult grizzly bear chases down a salmon near Klemtu, B.C., on Aug. 29, 2015.

JOHN LEHMANN/THE GLOBE AND MAIL

British Columbia is banning grizzly-bear hunting with the lone exception of First Nations hunters, who will be allowed to hunt the bears for food, social, or ceremonial reasons. The policy drew praise from B.C. environmentalists and threats of legal action from hunters.

The province’s environment and forests ministers announced the ban on Monday, saying they were acting on the basis of a program of consultation with stakeholder groups, the public and First Nations, most of whom recommended a ban to protect the bears.

“It’s no longer socially acceptable to the vast majority of British Columbians to hunt grizzly bears,” said Doug Donaldson, the Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources. The government estimates there are about 15,000 grizzlies in the province.

The move follows, and effectively expands, an August commitment to end the trophy hunting of grizzly bears and stop all hunting of grizzly bears in the Great Bear Rainforest.

Mr. Donaldson told a news conference he did not expect that the continuing First Nations hunt would kill many bears, suggesting there are less than 100 hunters who use bears for food. He said about 250 bears were killed a year by resident and non-resident hunters.

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs said he welcomed the ban because he supported an end to the “barbaric practice” of hunting the animals. He said few members of the First Nations community are involved in hunting the bears.

In response to a question from The Globe and Mail, the forests ministry said First Nations guides would not be able to facilitate access to grizzly bears for non-native hunters.

Mr. Donaldson said the government would look at transition measures for businesses affected by the ban, including easing businesses into the effort to observe grizzlies as opposed to hunting them, but provided no further details.

Joe Foy of the Wilderness Committee environmental group called the measure “tremendous news” that sets a global example. “This is worldwide news,” Mr. Foy told reporters after the government announcement, declaring British Columbia one of the world’s great hopes to hold onto the species.

“Some nations still allow trophy hunting for big beautiful creatures. This is a word out to the world that says times are changing and changing because so many creatures are on the decline. We’ve got to start to look out for them, not kill them for fun.”

However, Mark Werner, vice-president of the Guide Outfitters Association of B.C., whose members are involved in hunting grizzlies, cougars, wolves and other animals, said from Kamloops that the New Democratic government has abandoned rural British Columbia with the ban – a move he said will affect hundreds of jobs.

“This isn’t done. We know where they stand. We’re looking at legal options,” he said. “This will end up in the courts.”

Scott Ellis, executive director of the outfitters association, said he expected the government move will negatively affect about 100 B.C. family businesses.

Provincial Environment Minister George Heyman said the ban will be enforced by conservation officers, although he acknowledged they are “understaffed” and the issue of resources is being assessed as part of the process leading to the next provincial budget in February. “I won’t preshadow the federal budget, but we’ll be happy to talk about it at that time,” Mr. Heyman said.

In remarks addressed to hunters, Mr. Donaldson said the NDP knows hunting is important to many British Columbians. “This is not the thin edge of the wedge,” he said. “This is a specific species, an iconic species.”

Existing penalties for illegally killing grizzly bears will be applied under the new status quo. Under the Wildlife Act, tickets are $345. In what the ministry described in a statement as more extreme cases, a first conviction in court can lead to a fine of up to $100,000 or a one-year jail sentence.

__________________________________________

Also: Breaking news: British Columbia strengthens ban on trophy hunting of grizzly bears

by Wayne Pacelle,
December 18, 2017 

Today, British Columbia’s New Democratic Party government delivered on its campaign promise and more by announcing a provincial ban on trophy hunting of grizzly bears, even if the hunters involved claim they eat the meat of the animal. The NDP, in cooperation with the Green Party, ousted the Liberals in elections earlier this year, gaining a one-seat majority and promising to usher in a new series of policies, including some concerning animal protection.

The original declaration from the NDP to ban grizzly bear trophy hunting, but not meat hunting, won widespread praise, but it was viewed as having a questionable and unenforceable loophole. The government opened up a comment period, and the response was overwhelming: ban all grizzly bear hunting, because it’s essentially all for trophy hunting purposes even if someone chokes down some grizzly bear meat on pretense. Ecologist and scientist David Suzuki – along with a number of hunters on hunting forums – panned the idea that anyone hunts grizzly bears for meat, given the abundance of hooved animals in the wilds of British Columbia.

Under the prior Liberal government, B.C. had become the world’s grizzly-bear-hunting hub, with trophy hunters killing 250 of the great bears a year there, even within renowned provincial parks and protected areas and, most brazenly, in the Great Bear Rainforest, where Coastal First Nations have vehemently opposed trophy hunting of bears.

This is a signature win for animal protection groups (including Humane Society International/Canada, which worked for this outcome). Polling revealed that opponents of the practice include an overwhelming majority of residents of rural communities with strong hunting traditions. All of this is an emphatic reminder to the U.S. government and to our northern Rockies states not to proceed with a trophy hunt for grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem, which may be enabled with the recent delisting of bears there from the ranks of threatened and endangered species.

It’s not just a moral issue, it’s also an economic one. Each year, thousands flock to B.C.’s lush forests to participate in grizzly-bear-viewing expeditions. The bear-viewing industry brings in 12 times more direct revenue to the province than trophy hunting. There are millions of people throughout North America and the world who’d pay handsomely for an opportunity to see grizzlies in the wild, while very few people wish to slay these bears as a head-hunting exercise. The economic potential of an industry built around bear watching is vast, while the killing industry is small and receding and also a threat to the larger wildlife-watching enterprise.

https://blog.humanesociety.org/wayne/2017/12/breaking-news-british-columbia-strengthens-ban-trophy-hunting-grizzly-bears.html

 

Permits for elephant hunting trophies from Zimbabwe are still being issued

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/animalia/wp/2017/12/15/permits-for-elephant-hunting-trophies-from-zimbabwe-are-being-issued-despite-ban/?utm_term=.fa605550c723

 December 16 at 12:17 PM

A sample of the six tons of ivory confiscated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on display during the U.S. Ivory Crush event at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge on Nov. 14, 2013, in Commerce City, Colo. (Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

The U.S. government continues to grant permits to hunters seeking to import the remains of elephants shot in Zimbabwe as trophies, federal documents show.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service awarded permits to 16 people in 11 states who requested them between January 2016 and as recently as October, according to Friends of Animals, a nonprofit environmental group that obtained documents through a Freedom of Information Act request. The organization released the documents Friday.

The permits were for elephants shot before 2014, the year the Obama administration decided to ban the import of trophies from Zimbabwe after Fish and Wildlife determined that the country’s management of its elephant population was not sound in accordance with the Endangered Species Act.

The ban went into effect the following year. Last month Fish and Wildlife announced a decision to lift it but President Trump postponed the action the next day following a public outcry over the slaughter of elephants.

Put big game trophy decision on hold until such time as I review all conservation facts. Under study for years. Will update soon with Secretary Zinke. Thank you!

Friends of Animals said in a statement saying the information it uncovered proved that the administration was issuing permits in violation of the ban. Fish and Wildlife declined to provide a statement about the permits when the group released the documents, but denied the group’s account Saturday.

“We did not issue new permits for elephant trophies from Zimbabwe in violation of our import,” the agency’s statement said. “They were only for animals legally hunted during the Obama administration and prior to the 2014 suspension.”

The first permit awarded this year came four days after President Trump’s inauguration, and the last came shortly before a controversial proposal in November to lift the ban against trophy imports from Zimbabwe.

public uproar over Fish and Wildlife’s lifting of the ban prompted Trump to put the decision on hold pending a review. Ryan Zinke, secretary of the Interior Department, which oversees Fish and Wildlife, subsequently announced that he agreed with his boss. Neither Trump or Zinke have spoken about the issue or the review in the month since the controversy erupted.

Under the Obama administration, elephant-hunting trophies were allowed in from South Africa and Namibia, which worked diligently to account for elephants under its care and protect the population. Zimbabwe failed to meet Fish and Wildlife’s conservation standard for an animal that’s considered threatened in the wild under the Endangered Species Act. For starters, it lacked knowledge of the size and whereabouts of much of its herd.

Zimbabwe and Safari Club International, which worked to improve the management of Zimbabwe’s elephants, celebrated last month’s initial announcement of a lifting of the ban against imports. Safari Club was so zealous that it made the announcement a day before Fish and Wildlife. The club bemoaned Trump’s and Zinke’s subsequent decision to review the plan by issuing a “call to arms,” blaming conservation groups and news outlets.

Zimbabwe and other hunting clubs voiced similar outrage. But opponents of lifting the trophy import ban included some of Trump’s staunchest supporters, including radio talk show host Laura Ingraham.

Friends of Animals sued to reinstate the ban less than a week later. To support its legal challenge, the group requested and received a spreadsheet from Fish and Wildlife documenting the issuance of permits to import the remains of African elephants and lions, which are also listed as threatened, as trophies.

Michael Harris, the wildlife law program director for the group, said the permits support his group’s case against the Trump administration’s initial attempt to overturn the ban.

“This really helps us show this is an unsubstantiated change in position” on the ban by Fish and Wildlife, Harris said. The group has a second Freedom of Information Act request for the applications submitted by the permit recipients and material supporting their requests.

“They were granted when the ban was in place, so we’re questioning that,” Harris said. He disputed the explanation that they were granted because the animals were shot at a time when the United States approved of Zimbabwe’s management and trophy imports were legal. “I don’t buy it,” Harris said.

Read more:

This is why the government crushed a ton of ivory in Times Square

Antique dealers say the federal ivory ban will cost them dearly

Why Hawaii joined New York and California’s ban of ivory sales

A pound of rhino horn is worth far more than gold and cocaine