We did it! Oregon passed Ballot Measure 100 effectively banning elephant ivory, among 12 iconic species that face the threat of extinction due to the demand for their parts in Oregon, becoming the sixth state to do so in the nation!
This is an enormous victory for us, for our state and for the hundreds upon hundreds of volunteers who came out (in the rain) and helped send a strong message that we are Stopping the Demand in our state.
Save Endangered Animals Oregon is a grassroots campaign which focused on 12 iconic species that face the threat of extinction due to the demand for their parts in Oregon. Elephant ivory and rhino horn are among them and that is why The KOTA Foundation for Elephants is so passionate about the passing of Ballot Measure 100.
On November 8, 2016 Oregonians had the opportunity to vote YES on Ballot Measure 100 to protect these imperiled species. Specifically, the measure will prohibit the sale of products or parts from sea turtles, sharks, rays, elephants, rhinos, cheetahs, pangolins and other critically threatened or endangered species.
Ivory in Oregon
This is a question we get asked all the time. How much ivory is in Oregon? The answer can be tricky because so much of the trade is illegal and therefore difficult to track. Portland, Oregon has a port and with Washington and California on either side passing similar laws banning the trade of ivory within their state that left Oregon’s port vulnerable. By passing this measure we have taken the opportunity to close down the west coast.
Until fairly recently, (the early 20th Century), the United States was the world’s largest importer of ivory. And we held that title for nearly 200 years. We used ivory for everything from billiard balls, combs, knitting sticks, needles and piano keys. Deep River and Ivoryton, Connecticut owe much of their rich history to the prominent ivory trade as the two largest ivory manufacturing cities in the world for much of the 20th century.
In 2014 IFAW published a ground-breaking study that offered more insight into online sales of ivory in Oregon using Craigslist. Investigators collected data for 34 consecutive days across the country. The days were chosen at random and produced some shocking results.
Albany and Corvallis, Oregon popped up in their data search showing a significant amount of ivory being sold in that region. That doesn’t mean that the ivory being sold is illegal ivory but it does shed some light on just how much is being trafficked.
The IFAW study highlights one of the largest problems with the ivory trade in the US (and in Oregon):
1. Those who buy/sell do not understand the law
2. Those who do buy/sell are knowingly trying to evade it
“Every piece of ivory that is sold in the United States should be either ‘pre-ban’ or ‘antique’ but in practice a great deal is neither of these,” found the authors of the study.
We played an important part changing history in Oregon and helped put an end to the destruction of these beautiful animals.