This summer, New Jersey and New York, two states that represent key ports of entry into the United States for consumer goods (and wildlife trafficking), passed laws to help stem the illegal trade in ivory and rhino horn.
On August 5, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed legislation prohibiting individuals from importing, selling or purchasing any ivory or rhinoceros horn products in the state. Assemblyman Raj Mukherji, the bill’s prime sponsor in the New Jersey Assembly, is quoted in the press release issued by the governor’s office: “‘Given the role of our ports in wildlife trafficking and the rate at which the ivory trade is driving elephants and other endangered and threatened species toward extinction, these measures will directly contribute to protecting these magnificent species while chopping away at a major funding source for terrorists.’”
A similar bill was signed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on August 12. The New York law bans the sale of elephant and mammoth ivory and rhinoceros horns, with limited exceptions for products such as antiques demonstrated to be at least 100 years old and containing only a small amount of ivory. New York is thought to be the biggest market for ivory in the United States.