Grips

On Feb. 11, 2014 Pres. Obama put out an executive order making all ivory illegal to sell over state lines unless you can prove (via paperwork) that it is 100 or more years old. Pre ban (imported before 1990) won't qualify as legal anymore. In addition, in this same order he is trying to make pre ban ivories illegal to sell within state lines, unless you can prove (via paperwork) that it is pre ban. The problem is there is no such paper work. And never was. The meeting of the advisory committee on June 9th was what we expected. They spoke for a couple of hours without the benefit of a microphone system, and there was no video of this meeting this time. Audio is available. http://www.fws.gov/international/advisory-council-wildlife-trafficking/public-meeting-materials/advisory-council-meeting-audio-june-9.wav Strangely they appeared unprepared in regards to a microphone system, and the videographer saw no point in taping the proceedings since the sound was so poor. Too bad they haven’t had experience in these matters and could have prepared a room with more forethought. Enough about that. The highlights of the meeting are as follows: 1)Wire tap has been included in the growing list of ‘legal reforms’. Add that to RICO, money laundering and travel act. 2)It was noted that wildlife trafficking was the lowest of all prosecutions and this should be rectified and also include 'strong sentencing’. 3)Senators Feinstein and Graham are working together on formal restitution statues for this horrible crime. 4)They will be soliciting private companies, like shippers ( UPS, Fed Ex) to turn in those names of people who might be suspect. 5) They constantly reiterated how their recommendations were “scientifically based” yet there was never any factual information to back this up! 6) They are changing some wording so you can generously donate your worthless ivory to museums. 7) Museums and zoos will be enlisted to ‘educate’ the public about wildlife trafficking. There were 13 people who spoke out against the ban, 7 who spoke in favor of it and 2 that I was unclear which side they favored. A new article came out in Forbes magazine. Published June 9th, written by Doug Bandow- http://www.forbes.com/sites/dougbandow/2014/06/09/punishing-ivory-owners-rather-than-saving-elephants-when-ideologues-take-over-the-regulatory-state/ This past weekend the latest CITES report came out with the official 2013 poaching statistics. 20,000 elephants down from the previous year . Here is the link to read about that. http://www.cites.org/eng/elephant_poaching_and_ivory_smuggling_figures_for_2013_released Also this week there has been a lot of talk and articles about an old and very large elephant named Satao who has been killed by poachers in Kenya's national park. This is going to be used by the animal rights groups as fodder to gain more momentum. You and I are as appalled as they, but this ivory ban isn’t about the elephant, it is about our rights being usurped by the government! Our ivory was legally brought into the US, and has been legally bought sold and traded for the past 25 years. WE are not the receivers of the poached ivory, and we are not contributing to the poaching problem. In addition to that, over 100 tones of ivory should and could be made available for sale on the open market from natural mortality. That would go farther to stop the poaching than any laws enacted on the US citizen! http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/africaandindianocean/kenya/10903189/Poached-elephants-park-has-long-and-bloody-history.html But the most exciting news this week is … drum roll please…..Oversight Hearing on "The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Plan to Implement a Ban on the Commercial Trade in Elephant Ivory” Tues. June 24, 2014 2:00 pm. Please contact the committee members if you live in their area. I cannot. and if you get a response please let me know!! Read all about it below- and thank you for your support! The full subcommittee membership, complete with links to contact each member, is at http://naturalresources.house.gov/subcommittees/subcommittee/?SubcommitteeID=5063&utm_source=Ivory&utm_campaign=657456f6e4-Advisory_Council_Reminder_Reg_Published5_29_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_3a7fb4a39e-657456f6e4-. FIND your Representative http://www.house.gov/ https://www.senate.gov/ http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/02/11/fact-sheet-national-strategy-combating-wildlife-trafficking-commercial-b http://www.doi.gov/news/pressreleases/interior-announces-ban-on-commercial-trade-of-ivory-as-part-of-overall-effort-to-combat-poaching-wildlife-trafficking.cfm# http://www.elephantprotection.org/