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Oregon and Washington Wish to Expand Protections for Elephants, Rhinos, Lions

by Wayne Pacelle | Tuesday October 13, 2015    9:19 AM
Every 15 minutes, poachers kill an elephant for black-market ivory, sometimes even sawing off the animal's tusks while it's still alive. Photo by Alamy

On Monday, Oct 12, 2015, at a press conference in Portland, a statewide ballot initiative began to protect some of the planet's most iconic animals – 12 different taxa, including elephants, rhinos, lions, sea turtles, rays, and sharks, all facing a range of human-caused threats that jeopardize their existence. The ballot petition was submitted by three chief co-petitioners: Congressman Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore.; former Republican state senator Bruce Starr; and Oregon Metro Council President and Democrat Tom Hughes.

The Oregon initiative is modeled after I-1401, an initiative in Washington that voters will decide upon next month. Nearly all of that state's major papers – including the Spokesman Review, Seattle Times, Tacoma News Tribune, and Everett Herald – have already endorsed I-1401, and Wayne Pacelle urge all HSUS members in Washington to fill out their mail ballot, exercise their voting rights, and pass the nation's most comprehensive anti-wildlife trafficking ballot measure.

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen – owner of the Seattle Seahawks and the Portland Trailblazers – launched the Washington measure and his Vulcan Foundation is broadly committed to the animal protection goals embodied in I-1401 and the new Oregon initiative. While The HSUS and Allen's Vulcan Foundation are working on the ground in the range states of these endangered animals, we also realize that we must address the problem of demand in China, Vietnam, the United States, and other consuming countries. These ballot measures are an additional way for voters to add their voices and fortify our wildlife protection laws, thus advancing our shared global fight to end the trade in the parts of rare wildlife.

About Wayne

About Wayne
As President and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, few are in a position to speak for the animals like Wayne Pacelle. The HSUS is the nation's largest animal protection organization.Read Wayne Pacelle's Profile ›

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