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Washington State Initiative Aims to Protect Iconic Animals Threatened With Extinction

4/27/2015

Washington State Initiative Aims to Protect Iconic Animals Threatened With Extinction

4/27/2015

A Washington state signature gathering effort has been launch to place Initiative 1401, designed to help save animals such as elephants, rhinos, lions, tigers, pangolins, marine turtles, sharks and rays threatened with extinction, on the November ballot. The campaign effort is led by philanthropist Paul G. Allen.

Other active members of the growing I-1401 coalition include The Humane Society of the United States, the Woodland Park Zoo, the Seattle Aquarium and the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium.

Illegal poaching and wildlife trafficking is the fourth largest transnational crime behind weapon, drug, and human trafficking, and funds other types of violence and criminal organizations across the globe. Passing I-1401 will help reduce that violence. In addition, many of the animals protected by I-1401 are killed for medicinal use despite no real evidence of the efficacy of these expensive treatments.

“Every day, endangered species like elephants and rhinos are slaughtered to fuel a lucrative trade in unnecessary products made of ivory or horn. We must attack the economic incentives associated with trafficking wildlife products and give law enforcement the tools needed to shut down the networks that contribute to this criminal activity,” said Allen.

“We all have a responsibility to protect endangered animals, and Washington state can serve as a model to lead the way in disrupting the market for these products. If we turn away from our responsibility to protect our planet, these species will become extinct.”

Initiative 1401 has been carefully drafted in consultation with animal conservation experts and if passed, will set a national, and perhaps even international, precedent for laws protecting endangered animals.  

The campaign will use both paid and volunteer signature gatherers to collect and submit more than 300,000 signatures by early July in order to qualify the measure for the November ballot. 

 

 

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