A new law that was enacted on June 30, 2017, reportedly positioned Hawaii as having the nation’s broadest wildlife trafficking ban.
According to Hawaii News Now, Senate Bill 2647 (Act 125) originally passed the Senate in 2016, the enforcement of the new legislation was delayed until the end of last month.
As per Maui Now, the wide-reaching ban prohibits the sale, purchase, trade, possession with intent to sell or barter for any part or product of any species of elephant, mammoth, rhino, tiger, great ape, shark and ray, sea turtle, walrus, Narwhal, whale, hippopotamus, monk seal, lion, pangolin, cheetah, Jaguar and Leopard; all of which are identified as threatened with extinction by the Convention on International Trade In Endangered Species(CITIES) and the Endangered Species Act.
“Many may not be aware that globally, wildlife trafficking files right behind, and often hand-in-hand with illegal drugs, weapons, and human trafficking crimes,” stated the sponsor of the bill, Hawaii Senator Mike Gabbard. “Act 125 now serves as a model for other states and nations to emulate.”
Senator Gabbard further explained that Hawaii now has the third largest ivory market in the United States, falling shortly behind New York and California.
Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Conservation and Rescue Enforcement Chief Robert Farrell agreed adding that that wildlife trafficking remains a high priority for enforcement.