(July 27, 2016) — A citizen initiative to protect 12 types of imperiled animals will appear on the November ballot, with the Oregon Secretary of State certifying the Save Endangered Animals—Oregon Act.
The measure backed by Save Endangered Animals—Oregon would prohibit the sale of products and parts from sea turtles, sharks, rays, elephants, rhinos, cheetahs and other critically threatened or endangered animals. The United States is among the world’s largest markets for wildlife products and endangered species products are found for sale in Oregon.
“We are excited that thousands of Oregonians have stepped up and helped give Oregon voters the opportunity to protect these amazing animals,” said Kristin Leppert, campaign director for Save Endangered Animals—Oregon. “Oregon is one giant step closer to saving these imperiled species. Elephants, rhinos and other animals are disappearing at an alarming rate due to unprecedented levels of poaching. We look forward to passing this landmark conservation measure in November.”
On July 7, supporters and top volunteers of Save Endangered Animals—Oregon delivered 12 boxes of petitions to the Oregon Secretary of State. Demonstrating the broad grassroots support for the measure, more than 400 volunteers helped to gather signatures from more than 150,000 Oregon voters across the state. Chief sponsors of the measure include U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, former State Sen. Bruce Starr and Tom Hughes. This measure has a broad base of support, and is endorsed by dozens of local and national organizations, including the Oregon Zoo Foundation, the Oregon Coast Aquarium, Oregon Humane Society, Defenders of Wildlife, Environmental Investigative Agency, National Wildlife Federation, The Humane Society of the United States and many others. The Secretary of State announced today that 113,121 were certified as valid, exceeding the number of valid signatures required by more than 24,937.
During the last few years, several states have adopted laws complementary to federal regulations to curtail the illegal wildlife trade. Washington State passed a similar ballot measure last November with 70 percent of voters casting the ballot in favor of the measure. California, Hawaii, New Jersey and New York have enacted legislation to ensure that their jurisdictions do not fuel the burgeoning demand for the destructive wildlife trade.
Note: Media downloads, including a campaign video and a list of campaign endorsements, can be accessed here.