A measure that aims to curb wildlife trafficking qualified for Oregon’s November ballot yesterday (Thursday). The petition received almost 25-thousand more signatures than was necessary for the Secretary of State’s office to approve it.
The Save Endangered Animals Oregon campaign began collecting signatures after a previous bill to help endangered species failed in the state legislature in February.
Scott Beckstead with campaign says there will be consequences for those who participate in this illegal trade market.
“If someone is caught trafficking in these items, such as elephant ivory or rhino horns, they are going to be faced with felony-level fines in addition to whatever sanctions they may face from the federal government,” says Beckstead.
Washington State, California and Hawaii have passed similar measures to prevent wildlife trafficking. Beckstead says it’s important Oregon does too.
“It really creates a funnel affect into Oregon," says Beckstead. "We have to get this done here in Oregon. That way what we’ve done is shut down the entire west coast to the traffickers, to the smugglers and the criminals that are trying to bring those products here into the United States.”
Representative Earl Blumenauer and former State Senators Bruce Starr and Tom Hughes are the chief sponsors of this measure.
Follow Kira Hoffelmeyer on Twitter @kirahoffy