Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is earning praise for signing legislation to restrict the intrastate sale of ivory and rhino horn products. House Bill 4843, introduced by Rep. Martin Moylan of Des Plaines, will ensure that Illinois does not contribute to the illegal wildlife trade.
The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International joined a coalition of national and local groups, including Animal Welfare Institute, in support of House Bill 4843. The bill follows similar actions by legislatures or voters in New Jersey, New York, California, Washington, Hawaii, Oregon, Nevada and New Hampshire to establish laws that ensure these states do not provide safe harbor to wild animal traffickers and profiteers.
Elephants and rhinos face the threat of extinction due to the demand for their body parts. The savannah African elephant population has declined by 144,000 animals to 350,000 since 2007, primarily from poaching. More than 1,000 rhinos were killed in 2017 in South Africa alone; only 29,000 rhinos remain worldwide.
Marc Ayers, Illinois state director for the Humane Society of the United States, said, “We are grateful to Governor Rauner for signing this bill. Illinois residents should rest assured knowing that their state has said ‘no’ to the ivory and rhino horn trade.”