Changing Planet

Citizens Spur States to Ban Trade in Ivory and Rhino Horn

“When you think things need to change, you have the power to make it happen,” Ashley McAvey, homegrown elephant activist and mother of two, told students recently at Endeavour Middle School in Shelburne, Vermont.

McAvey is the driving force behind Vermont’s proposed legislation (H. 297) to ban sales of elephant ivory and rhino horn in the state. She’ll be giving testimony at the April 8 hearing on the bill before the state’s House Committee on Fish, Wildlife and Water Resources.

“Federal laws restrict the import, export, and interstate sale of ivory,” she said, “but they don’t regulate intrastate ivory sales adequately, and they also allow the continued sale of certain ivory, like antiques.”

McAvey’s efforts are part of a larger trend, in which 25 states have considered or are now considering legislation to restrict ivory and rhino horn sales within their borders.

Read the whole story on National Geographic News.

Laurel Neme is the author of ANIMAL INVESTIGATORS: How the World’s First Wildlife Forensics Lab is Solving Crimes and Saving Endangered Species, a narrative non-fiction “CSI for wildlife” with a foreword by Richard Leakey and endorsed by Jane Goodall that's been featured on ABC News Nightline and NPR’s Science Friday. She is also the author of the children's book, ORANGUTAN HOUDINI, based on a true story of an ape who outwits his zookeeper. She has hosted The WildLife radio show and addressed a range of groups on wildlife forensics and trafficking, and animal intelligence, including INTERPOL’s Wildlife Crime Working Group, the St. Louis Zoo, American Museum of Natural History, universities, school groups and libraries. Previously, she worked on natural resource and wildlife management as both a government officer and international consultant in dozens of countries around the world, helping her understand the real-life tradeoffs between wildlife protection and human economic needs. She holds a Master’s degree from the University of Michigan and PhD from Princeton University. See Laurel Neme's website for more.

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