I got an email blast yesterday from John F. Calvelli of the Wildlife Conservation Society
First, the good news: On Tuesday, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed the first state ivory ban into law! [ED: click here for A3128]
It was a huge moment for elephants, but where state lawmakers are stepping up, Congress could be caving in.
Attacks on the proposed federal ivory ban are intensifying. Bills in both the House and Senate would kill the federal ban and could block states from passing their own bans, effectively repealing portions of the New Jersey State ban.
We need to make sure lawmakers get the message: Americans support banning ivory in overwhelming numbers. Stand behind the ban!
Yes, well, the way I see it . . .
Far from banning the sale of elephant ivory, we should encourage it. We should do what we can to convince African nations to widen legal, controlled elephant hunting and its by-products.
The countries with native elephants would then reap tremendous financial rewards. They could use that money to more effectively manage elephant populations – channeling the cash to the wide range of people who would benefit from the trade. Who would all have incentive to protect the elephant herds from criminal predation.
Then again, Africa is almost as corrupt as New Jersey. Would the cash generated from expanded legal elephant hunting process and legal ivory sales simply disappear down a rat hole, leaving legal and illegal hunts existing side-by-side (as they are now), until the elephants were hunted to extinction?
Help me out here. I know emotion rules this “debate,” but if we could set aside irrational appeals to our better nature, should we repeal the bans on elephant ivory, expand them or leave them be?