SCI Addresses Proposed Washington State Ivory Ban

AfricaHunting.com

Founder
AH ambassador
Joined
Oct 1, 2007
Messages
11,357
Reaction score
5,875
Website
AfricaHunting.com
Media
5,580
Articles
320
Chip Burkhalter, Director of Government Affairs in SCI’s DC office, has written an article for the Spokane 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 is preferable, such responses brought in the name of conservation often fail to be in the best interest of wildlife. Allowing the ignorance and prejudices of anti-hunters to 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.


Source: Safari Club International (SCI)


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

Chip Burkhalter: I-1401 won’t affect global of ivory trade

Every legitimate hunter abhors the act of poaching. The penalty for those caught and convicted of illegal poaching cannot be high enough. The solution to poaching, however, will never be found in proposals that penalize law-abiding citizens.

This principle holds true in the debate over Initiative 1401, which will be on the ballot in Washington this November. Proponents want to stop ivory poachers in Africa but, unfortunately, I-1401 – backed by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and Save Animals Facing Extinction (SAFE) – will do nothing to stop poaching on that distant continent. It will only penalize the law-abiding citizens of Washington.

For an effective solution to ivory poaching, we must look for strategies to combat those who intentionally and illegally take and traffic ivory. But instead of focusing on poachers, smugglers and black-market profiteers of illicit ivory, Allen and SAFE have decided to attack law-abiding owners of legally obtained ivory, including hunters who import legally hunted trophies, musicians whose instruments contain ivory, law-abiding gun owners whose antique firearms contain ivory, and the owners of countless items that may feature ivory in small amounts.

These ordinary items include antiques, artwork, jewelry, knives, furniture and many other lawfully owned and obtained items that contain ivory or any other “covered animal” part or products. I-1401 adds insult to this injury by taking from owners the value of ivory they own legally.

Proponents of I-1401 claim that this action is necessary to save a number of African species from imminent extinction. This claim stems from a recent surge in poaching that threatens some species populations in countries with weak governments, ineffective law enforcement and poor conservation programs. But the justifications for an ivory ban in Washington have drifted far from relevant science, law, and political and economic realities in Africa and around the world. The ivory ban theory is unsupported by reality.

The goal of the proposed ivory ban is to strip ivory of all commercial value by prohibiting its sale, but the potential result would be an unconstitutional taking without due process or adequate compensation. But even setting those very serious legal issues aside, this plan is doomed to fail because of its naiveté, corrupt local governments that aid and abet poachers, and a total disregard of the thriving and well-documented illegal ivory trade in Asia.

Instead of relying on science and economics, ivory ban advocates say they are motivated to choke the global demand for ivory by setting an example for smugglers in China and elsewhere in Asia. This rationale, too, fails to pass even superficial logical, practical and political standards of scrutiny.

Why does Washington need another law that covers existing laws? There are federal and state laws in place already that make selling or trafficking ivory and other parts of endangered species illegal. Does anyone believe that poachers in Africa and their eager customers in Asia will pay any heed to the passage of a ballot initiative in Washington?

The Endangered Species Act and the African Elephant Conservation Act are federal laws that already contain extensive restrictions regarding the import, possession and trade in endangered species, including animal parts. In addition, Washington laws already protect local wildlife and prohibit the possession of any animal product from another country where the wildlife is known to have been illegally killed.

As the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service stated in its September 2012 fact sheet, 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. The U.S. has a well-developed market for trading antiques, art, musical instruments, firearms, knives, scrimshaw and countless other items that incorporate ivory. The international body responsible for administering the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) also has not identified any significant flow of illegal ivory into the U.S.

Sound scientific principles, not the hyperbole and emotionalism of I-1401 backers, are the best way to manage wildlife and habitat.. Although they may think that it is preferable to appease their consciences with emotionally based public campaigns, such responses brought in the name of conservation often fail to be in the best interest of wildlife.

We urge all voters to vote no on I-1401 this Election Day.

Chip Burkhalter is the Washington, D.C.-based director of government affairs for Safari Club International.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
37,354
Messages
712,138
Members
66,543
Latest member
BarbaraJpl
 

 

 

Latest posts

Latest profile posts

Matt W wrote on Jody's profile.
Hi Jody,
I have been looking for ideas on the best way to display my European mounts from Africa. I came across some of your shield work and was wondering if you would be willing to make one for me? If so, please let me know the cost. I like the shield with the two spears that you built for a member years ago. Thanks.
cal pappas wrote on Mnelson2's profile.
Nelson. Is this message a PM format. I want to send you my email, but don't know if this is the cirrect way to do it. I'm at <pappas@mtaonline.net> Send me an email with your phone and I will call you about a skull I have. I went to school in Boston and am from Bernardston in the west part of the state. Moved to Alaska in 1984 adn never looked back.
BeeMaa wrote on Justbryan's profile.
Sold a Blaser scope mount to him. He was a pleasure to do business with.
BeeMaa wrote on 375Fox's profile.
Sold a Blaser scope mount to him. Was a pleasure to do business with.
Tundra Tiger wrote on Alaska Luke's profile.
Hi Luke. Just saw your message. I am in Dillingham, and have been since 2002. I took an elementary teaching gig here, taught here five years, and then got a job with Togiak National Wildlife Refuge as their education and outreach specialist. Recently I just got a promotion and now I'm the Visitor Services Manager. Prior to DLG I spent 6 years teaching for Lake and Pen in Nondalton.
 
Top