Our view: Vote Yes on Measure 100

There are plenty of controversial decisions to be made in November, but Measure 100 is not one of them.

The Wildlife Trafficking Prevention Act would prohibit the sale of products and parts from 12 endangered animals in Oregon. Those animals are rhinos, cheetahs, tigers, sea turtles, lions, elephants, whales, sharks, pangolins, jaguars, rays and leopards.

A similar effort passed overwhelmingly in Washington in 2015, and California has a similar law on the books. That means Oregon could join its neighbors and present a united West Coast front against importers, making it more difficult for them to find buyers throughout the United States.

And, yes it’s true that in most cases there are already federal bans on many of these items. But it’s also true that in Oregon it’s much more likely for law enforcement to encounter endangered animal parts on sale within state lines, instead of on the docks. Under current law, once those products are through the port of entry, the state has no ability to ban their sale.

That will no longer be the case if Measure 100 is passed.

Additionally, the law was written so grandma’s ivory-keyed piano is not made illegal, nor her antique ivory-handled gun or jewelry box. It may be illegal to sell those items from here on out, but they can legally be possessed and passed to a family member.

African elephants and rhinos may seem far away, but Measure 100 is a small way to protect them. International animal welfare groups have bigger fights underway in Thailand and China, for example, but Oregon can be part of the solution in November.

Measure 100 is a clear yes.