Steve Shackleford Blog

Is the Grassroots Ivory Effort Working?

Congress apparently listening to grassroots legal ivory effort. (SharpByCoop photo)

Grassroots effort to save legal ivory could be swaying Congress. (SharpByCoop photo of a knife by Kevin Casey)

The grassroots effort to protect Americans’ right to sell legal elephant ivory appears to be having the desired effect on Congress. Why? Because U.S. Fish and Wildlife did not make the expected changes to rule 17.40/Use After Import that were supposed to have been announced this past August. With October only a week away, the delay would seem to indicate that legislators are having second thoughts about approving the rule changes.

Among other things, if approved, the changes would make it anywhere from extremely expensive to virtually impossible to prove your existing legal elephant ivory and/or ivory knife or other item made of ivory was imported legally. As a result, most elephant ivory and items made of ivory or with ivory parts that previously had been legal to sell would become illegal to sell.

One reason Congress is delaying the rule changes may be because of the grassroots ivory effort of many letters, emails and other communications American citizens are sending to their representatives urging them not to make the rule changes.

A leading proponent of Americans’ right to own legal ivory and a founding member of elephantprotection.org, scrimshander Sandra Brady stated she thinks the letters and emails are having an effect on both the Senate and House of Representatives. As a result, she added, no changes to the rule are likely until after the Nov. 1 elections. “We have to keep up the pressure and have our voices heard in the voting booths, too,” she noted. “A Republican-strong Senate would certainly help our cause, even thought this issue is by-partisan.” The anti-ivory contingent is led by the Obama Administration and the currently Democratic-controlled Senate.

Meanwhile, Brady urges those for legal ivory rights to continue their letter and email writing campaigns, and also to use Twitter and Facebook to further the cause. She added that elephantprotection.org has been updated to make it easier for you to stay abreast of law changes and to contact your representatives.

For more information, visit elephantprotection.org.

 

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