Illinois Just Stepped Up for Wildlife with a Ban on Elephant Ivory and Rhino Horns

In another victory for elephants and rhinos, Illinois has become the latest state to step up for these iconic species by banning the sale of both ivory and rhino horn in an effort to protect them from wildlife trafficking.

While we continue to look to Asia as a major source for driving the demand behind the brutal trade that’s decimating these species, conservationists continue to point out that the U.S. is the second largest consumer of ivory in the world. Fortunately, one-by-one states are making progress towards shutting markets for these products down.

This week, Illinois became the latest to act after Governor Bruce Rauner signed legislation restricting the intrastate trade in both elephant ivory and rhino horn.

The legislation, which was introduced by Rep. Martin Moylan, will make it illegal to import, sell, buy or trade any ivory within the state, and bans any transactions involving rhino horn, which will help ensure that Illinois isn’t contributing to the illegal wildlife trade.

“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,” said Marc Ayers, Illinois state director for the Humane Society of the United States.

For elephants and rhinos, action on our part to tackle the illegal trade can’t come soon enough. Thousands continue to be ruthlessly slaughtered for nothing more than their horns and tusks, which are turned into trinkets or used in traditional medicine, while the relentless demand for their parts has unfortunately continued to push both of these species closer and closer to the brink of extinction.

Thankfully, Illinois took action, and is now the ninth state to take a stand like this, joining California, Hawaii, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Washington, which have all banned the trade in ivory and rhino horns.

According to the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), this new law Illinois is particularly important in Illinois. Seizure data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shows that the Port of Chicago has been a big hub for the trade, with 46 shipments containing ivory between 2007 and 2013 being refused, and that’s only what was discovered.

While there’s still more to be done, it’s a another positive step in the right direction towards protecting wildlife from poachers and traffickers that will hopefully be followed by more.

“Governor Rauner’s signature establishes Illinois as one of the leaders in the fight against wildlife trafficking.” We are also grateful for the leadership of the bill sponsors, Representative Martin Moylan of Des Plaines and Senator Linda Holmes of Aurora,” said Cathy Liss, president of AWI. “State by state, we will continue working to shut down the market for these wildlife products so that the United States does not play a role in driving the poaching crisis.”

If you want your state to become one of the next to take action like this, you can help by starting a petition.


Photo credit: Thinkstock


Marie W
Marie W8 days ago

Thank you for sharing

Cathy B
Cathy B6 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

HEIKKI R6 months ago

thank you

Janis K
Janis K6 months ago

Thanks for sharing

Lynne Buckley
Lynne Buckley6 months ago

Good news

Mark Donner
Mark Donner6 months ago

Chicago is just one city. There should be a worldwide ban and punishment should be the same as it is for crimes like murder.

Cathy B
Cathy B7 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

Donna T
Donna T7 months ago

thank you

Leo Custer
Leo C7 months ago

Thank you for sharing!

Mike K
Mike Kelly7 months ago

Oops. Fran F. just corrected me. "Hoosiers" are from Indiana, not Illinois. People who live in or come from Illinois are called Illinoisians, Illinoisans or Illinoians. So, "Yay for Illinoisians/Illinoisans/Illinoians. Welcome to the club!

....... and hank you, Fan F.