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Breaking News: Legislators introduce WA ivory bill

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Editor

Today Reps. Pettigrew (D), Buys (R) and Fitzgibbon (D) introduced bipartisan House Bill 1131 to put an end to illegal elephant ivory and rhinoceros horn trade in Washington state. In addition to federal law, state laws are needed to close loopholes that allow the black market to go unchecked.

Which one is more precious?

You got us this far! More than 7,000 Woodland Park Zoo and Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium supporters joined together to raise our voices on this issue. Legislators are now listening. Let’s be heard!


It’s time to use your voice once again! Leave a public comment on the Washington State Legislature website in SUPPORT of HB 1131. 

You can use the following talking points in your comment:

  • As your constituent, I am writing in support of Woodland Park Zoo’s and Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium’s 96 Elephants campaign and ask you to support WA State HB 1131 to end the sale of illegal elephant ivory and rhinoceros horn in Washington.
  • African elephants are being killed at an unprecedented rate as demand for ivory continues unabated. In 2012, 35,000 African elephants—96 per day—were killed for ivory. At this rate, extinction is possible in 20 years. The current worldwide population of all rhinoceros species living in the wild has dwindled to just twenty-nine thousand.
  • In 2014, the U.S. announced a federal ban prohibiting nearly all commercial imports, exports and interstate sales of elephant ivory; however ivory sales within states are uncontrolled and create a demand for newly poached ivory. This loophole bolsters a thriving black market in the U.S.—one of the largest ivory markets in the world. State-by-state moratoria must be enacted to close this loophole.
  • The illegal ivory trade helps finance trade in illegal drugs and arms, fueling political instability, organized crime, and terrorism. To stop the killing, we must stop the trade and end the demand.
  • Washington is in the vanguard of a national movement and can lead other states during this critical time for elephants and rhinoceroses. New York and New Jersey have passed ivory moratoria, and an ivory bill is now introduced in California.
  • Action needs to be taken now to stop the illegal sale of elephant ivory and rhino horn in Washington if we hope to save these animals from extinction and for future generations. Please support HB 1131 and make a difference today.

African elephant photo by Julie Larsen Maher/Wildlife Conservation Society.