From: Ann Simpson
To: Scott Jenkins,
Subject: Institute a moratorium on ivory sales
Date: Fri Aug 08 16:46:07 MDT 2014
Body:
Aug 8, 2014 Senator Scott Jenkins State Capitol, Suite 320 350 North State Street Salt Lake City, UT 84114 Dear Senator Jenkins, I am writing to you as a constituent and supporter of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) to ask that you support legislation to combat wildlife trafficking and enact a moratorium on ivory sales. About 35,000 elephants are poached in Africa each year -- that's 96 elephants killed every day -- for their ivory tusks, which are in high demand in Asia and beyond. Groundbreaking research by WCS and multiple partners found a staggering 76 percent decline in the forest elephant population between 2002 and 2013, which dropped from 322,000 to around 80,000 animals. The United States is one of the largest markets for ivory in the world with legal markets providing a front for illegal sales. Poaching and illegal trade of parts of animals such as elephants are major problems around the world, and harmful to U.S. national security and economic interests. The criminal networks that engage in illegal wildlife trade are the same groups that engage in other illicit activities, including trafficking in humans, drugs and weapons. Sales of ivory have been linked to supporting terrorist groups. A recent report by the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime linked a terrorist group responsible for recent attacks on civilians to ivory poaching in Kenya, and a study conducted by the Enough Project detailed how other terror organizations are poaching elephants and trading ivory for weapons and supplies to conduct destabilizing activities in Central and East Africa. This is a direct threat to U.S. national security. The Obama Administration's National Strategy to Combat Wildlife Trafficking includes a plan to institute a federal ban on commercial ivory sales. But as you know, only states have the power to regulate the sale of ivory within state borders. Closing all existing loopholes by enacting bans at both the state and federal level is crucial to stopping this illegal trade, saving elephants in the wild and preventing U.S. dollars from supporting illicit trafficking operations that lead to political instability. Please help put an end to this crisis by supporting legislation to combat wildlife trafficking and enact a moratorium on ivory trade. Thank you for your consideration, Mrs. Ann Simpson 5724 S 4075 W Roy, UT 84067-9186