Breaking! New York Governor Cuomo Signs Landmark Bill Banning The Sale & Possession Of Wildlife Parts Of Vulnerable Species Including Giraffes

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Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York just signed the first bill in the state banning the sale of articles made from any part of a species listed as “Vulnerable” and at risk of extinction.

NY Senate Bill 5098, which passed the assembly floor on December 13th, also bans the trade of any giraffe parts and lists giraffes as a “Vulnerable Species.”

Introduced earlier this year by Representative Steve Englebright and Senator Monica R. Martinez, Bill 5089 includes exceptions for museums and antiques.

As per a statement by Martinez’ office, the bill was inspired by the recent classification of two giraffe subspecies as “Critically Endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, with their population plummeting by 40% between 1985 and 2016, leaving less than 100,000 remaining today.

“Wild animal populations worldwide and the ecosystems where they live are under unprecedented pressure,” stated Representative Englebright. “This bill gives the New York State Department of Environmental Protection the power to provide additional protections for such animals by designating them as vulnerable species and by prohibiting the sale of any article made in whole or in part of the skin, hide, or other parts of the species.”

As the fourth largest illegal trade in the world, wildlife trafficking is driving our extinction crisis. One million species are currently at risk of extinction due to human activities, as indicated by a recent Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) Report.

“Signing this nation-leading bill into law catapults New York into a league of its own in the fight to protect our biodiversity. New York is now in a strong position to tackle the unsustainable nature of wildlife trade that is contributing to our extinction crisis,” Rich Schrader, New York Political Director at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), said in a statement. The inclusiveness of this bill reflects the urgency of protecting most, if not all, of the earth’s wildlife and sets a trailblazing precedent for other states to follow.”

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