The 45-year-old Sudan, the sole remaining male of the rare subspecies of white rhino, died in Kenya. By CAMILLA SCHICK on March 20, 2018. Photo by Thomas Mukoya/Reuters.
Dear Cleveland Orchestra,
My name is Christina LaMonica, and I am the Founder of Ivory Free Ohio, a grassroots organization dedicated to outlawing all intra-state sales of Ivory, Rhino Horn, and Trophy Hunting products in our state without exemption. We’ve never met in person, but we’ve communicated via telephone and emails regarding our movement and your continued support.
As you are aware, we’ve worked diligently with Senator Frank LaRose and his staff, educating them on the adverse effects of the Ivory trade while creating legislation that protects our national security and helps Africa’s keystone species from extinction.
The United States is the largest consumer of Ivory and Rhino Horn products- 2nd to China. One Elephant is slaughtered every 15 minutes. That’s four an hour, 96 a day, 672 a week, 2,880 a month, and 34,560 a year. And in the time it took you and your constituents (Cleveland Museum of Natural History and the Cleveland Museum of Art) to hijack our Ivory Bill, over 25,000 Elephants have been killed for their Ivory tusks.
On June 19, 2015, in Times Square, New York City, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, with wildlife and conservation partners, will host its second ivory crush event. One ton of ivory we seized during an undercover operation, plus other ivory from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, will be crushed in front of VIPs and the general public.
What can you do to help?
The United States is among the world’s largest consumers of wildlife products – both legal and illegal. We have a significant ivory market, and we must continue to be vigilant in combating illegal ivory trade. You can help by not buying items that contain elephant ivory and by spreading this message to your family and friends. The work of law enforcement is an important part of the overall effort to stop wildlife poaching, but the only way to truly stop this slaughter is by ending consumer demand for ivory.
Thanks to some scrutiny of online auction sites and on the ground package inspections, an ivory trafficker and self-proclaimed 20-year antiques dealer from Ohio has been put out of business. Together, our federal wildlife inspectors and special agents connected the dots to stop a long-running operation that channeled illegal ivory sales through an online auction and shopping website.
Even though African elephants have been protected internationally for decades, more than 30,000 elephants are poached annually for the illegal ivory trade. In 25 years of enforcement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has seized more than six tons of illegal ivory. That tonnage is built upon cases, large and small over the years. This latest case stems from a two-year investigation that began when Chicago-based wildlife inspectors discovered a series of illegal shipments destined for China, all mislabeled and without the required permits.
A Call to Action Outlawing Ivory and Rhino Horn in the State of Ohio
The purpose of this petition is to enact legislation banning the import, in-state, and Internet sale and distribution of raw and worked ivory and Rhinoceros horn products in the state of Ohio.
In 2014, President Barack Obama issued an executive order banning the import and export of ivory, yet the United States remains the largest consumer after China as the order fails to include; the import, in-state, Internet, and diplomatic loopholes. (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, 2014)
Trafficking of illegal ivory is a transnational organized crime run by terrorists and radicalists whom threaten our national security, our wildlife, and our people. (IFAW, 2013) “There is no legislation in Ohio and this is what I am working to change.”