Environment Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

HB-6955

Title:

AN ACT PROHIBITING THE SALE AND TRADE OF IVORY AND RHINOCEROS HORN.

Vote Date:

3/20/2015

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable Substitute

PH Date:

3/11/2015

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE

REASONS FOR BILL:

To prohibit commercial trade in the ivory and rhinoceros horn business in order to limit the market for such items and reduce the killing of elephants and rhinoceros for their ivory and horns.

Substitute Language: LCO 5633

Adds an exemption for items that are 100 years or older, and for musical instruments made before Jan. 1, 1975.

Eliminates the provision for the destruction of confiscated items.

Makes technical corrections.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

None Expressed.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Tusk Task Force Press Release.

Efforts aimed at reducing the trade of elephant and rhino parts has traditionally focused on preventing the killing of these animals. Compelling evidence from Interpol and other organizations has given the issue of poaching a renewed sense of urgency because profits from poaching have become a primary currency for and by terrorists. Banning their trade is a necessary step to deal with this real threat, which is not just about the environment anymore.

Allen R. Sandico, CEO (Chief Elephant Officer), Tusk Task Force.

Compelling reasons to pass this legislation:

● Every 15 minutes an elephant is killed for its tusk.

● Wildlife trafficking is an estimated $23 billion-a-year market.

● Every 13 hours one rhino is killed.

● A substantial portion of the illegal profits go to transnational organized crime syndicates involved in trafficking of humans, drugs, and weapons.

● Consumer demand is elevating the price of ivory and driving elephant poaching.

● The terrorist organization al-Shabaab raises $600,000 a month from poaching to fund all of its operations.

● Supplies of ivory from Africa and elsewhere are usually purchased and distributed by Chinese mafia organizations.

● Boko Haram publically declared that they will directly resort to poaching as a primary source of income since “it is easier than kidnapping and extortion”.

If current poaching rates continue or increase due to demand, elephants and rhinos will be extinct within ten years.

The following citizens and organizations support the bill and expressed concerns consistent with those offered by the Tusk Task Force:

Bianca A. Molina, Trumbull, CT

Iris N. Molina, Trumbull, CT

Janine L. Wolfe, Trumbull, CT

Susan B. Linker, Bloomfield, CT

Annie Hornish, CT Senior State Director, The Humane Society.

The society supports the bill and offers 2 suggested changes: 1) Line 20 should start: “No person shall import with intent to sell, offer…”. This puts the focus on prohibiting commercial trade (the goal of the bill) over mere movement of ivory. 2) Lines 4&5: narwhal, walrus and whale, while included because of their similarity to elephant ivory, should be deleted because they are already afforded certain protection under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Amy Harrell, President, CT Votes for Animals.

The most powerful way to stop the killing and take the profit out of this illegal trade is with a near complete ban on the sale of ivory. In 2014, both New Jersey and New York passed legislation to prohibit ivory and rhino horn sales. Given Connecticut's proximity to these states, it is crucial for CT to mandate the same prohibition, or it will be all too easy for traffickers to move their transactions across state borders.

Eva Magnuszewski, Alderwoman, City of New Britain, CT.

Chopsticks, ornaments, hair pins, pendants, trinkets – these are some of the reasons elephants are killed in droves. Rhino horns, assumed to have curative powers, are status symbols for the wealthy in countries like Vietnam and China. Two important reasons to pass this bill: 1) elephants and rhinos are key species needed to protect the earth's ecosystem, biodiversity, and forests and 2) banning ivory and rhino horn sales helps to combat the violent illegal wildlife trafficking industry that funds terrorism.

The following concerned citizens and organizations urge passage of the bill because by banning the trade in elephant and rhino horns, demand will be reduced, the slaughter abated, and the threat of extinction mitigated:

Ms. Vanessa Alward, Redding, CT

Ms. Wendy Horowitz, New Haven, CT

Mrs. Wendy WHYKO-MAROLDA, Oxford, CT

Ms. Alison Zyla, Clinton, CT

Ms. Amy Hopkins, Guilford, CT

Mrs. Annette Tyron-Crozier, Brookfield, CT

Mr. Anthony P. Vessicchio, New Haven, CT

Ms. Beverlee Goynes, Ridgefield, CT

Ms. Charlene Wood Noel, Winsted, CT

Mrs. Cecilia Staunton, Redding, CT

Mrs. Carol Merritt, Norwalk, Ct

Ms. Bonnie West, Bristol, CT

Ms. Deborah Dahlgren, East Hartford, CT

Mr. Drew Cucuzza, New Haven, Ct

Mrs. Elke Hoppenbrouwers, East Haven, CT

Mrs. Elizabeth DiLernia, Burlington, CT

Mr. G. Robertson, Clinton, CT

Ms. Glynis Simmons, Meriden, CT

Mr. Hubert and Susan van Asch van Wyck, Washington, CT

Mrs. Heather Harrison-Rouillard

Mr. Harvey Picker, West Hartford, CT

Ms. Janice Cashell, Bethlehem, CT

Mrs. Jennifer Arango, Branford, CT

Mr. Jeffrey Semon, Monroe, CT

Ms. Jean Corsini, Dayville, CT

Mrs. Joanna Cadorette, Preston, CT

Ms. Joann Koch, Lebanon, CT

Ms. Jo Friedlander, Norwalk, CT

Ms. Jill Badyrka, Statford, CT

Mr. Juan Antelo, Newington, CT

Ms. Kay Breakstone, Stamford, CT

Ms. Kathryn Gallo, Meriden, CT

Ms. Laurie Ann Watson, Taftville, Ct

Mrs. Linda Gilbert, Manchester, CT

Ms. Linda Smyth, Enfield, CT

Ms. Lisa Banik, Waterbury, CT

Ms. Lisa Denning, Simsbury, CT

Ms. Lisa Haut, New Haven, CT

Mrs. Lisa Koehl, Brooklyn, CT

Mr. Loren Lugg, Killingworth, CT

Mrs. Marie Dutto, Torrington, CT

Mr. Michael Varichak, Danbury, CT

Miss Mary Ann Clark, Weatogue, CT

Mrs. Patricial Gangloff, Torrington, CT

Mrs. Patricia Austin-Puccio, Norwalk, CT

Ms. Pamela Joseph, Westport, CT

Mr. Paul Smith, Westport, CT

Ms. Shelia Brooks, Danbury, CT

Mrs. Sarah Waite, Auckland, CT

Mrs. Susan Clemens, New Haven, CT

Ms. Susan Jolicoeur, Roxbury, CT

Mrs. Susan P. Vessicchio, New Haven, CT

Ms. Tracy Cardarelli, Riverside, CT

Amy G. Gagnon, New Britain, CT

Barbara Rudnick, East Berlin, CT

Carney Anne Nasser, Esq., Animal Legal Defense Fund

Ed Steward, President and Co-founder, PAWS

Enid Breakstone, M.Ed., Manchester, CT

Greg Dancho, Stratford, CT

Toni Frohoff, Ph.D., Elephant Scientist, In Defense of Animals

Cynthia Mulheam, Southington, CT

Anthony and Caitlin Sorge, Bethlehem, CT

Tracy Quigley, Hartford, CT

Tania Blandon, South Windsor, CT

Dorothy J. Rich, Norwalk, CT

Bill Katz, Hartford, CT

Cathy Kangas, Member Humane Society of the US, New Canaan, CT

Deb Robinson, JD, West Hartford, CT

Elizabeth Chambers, Hamden, CT

Chris Kerin, Weston, CT

Elizabeth Abbe, Glastonbury, CT

Prof. Dr. Jesse L. Maghan, Forum for Comparative Correction, Chester, CT

Nicole Bruck, Stamford, CT

Patricia Harmon, Ph.D., Stamford, CT

John J. Juliano, Tolland, CT

Julia Caruk, South Windsor,CT

Julie E. Lewin, CT Council for Humane Education, Inc., Guilford, CT

Julie Stankiewicz, Manchester, CT

Jennifer Kelsey, Guilford, CT

Jamila HadjSalem, Stafford, CT

Jane Ciarlone and the Ciarlone Family, Branford, CT

Toni Rishar, Stamford, CT

Ruth M. Treat, Bolton, CT

Tammy Torres Hennessy, Oxford, CT

Susan Moran, Vernon, CT

Susan Armknecht, Groton, CT

Sara Marinello, Wildlife Conservation Society

Rosamund Downing, Pawcatuck, CT

Richard L. Hasbany, Ph.D., Branford, CT

Regina Milano, Ed.D., West Haven, CT

Renee Healion, Windham, Ct

Laura Janoski, Ivoryton, CT

Laura Lynch

Kristina Dorn, Fairfield, CT

Karin Barth, Mystic, Ct

Katie Haggerty, Bethel, CT

Katen Laski, Manchester, CT

Jennifer Wynn, West Hartford, CT

Ronald W. DeGray, Glastonbury, CT

Sherrill Jones, Tolland, CT

Sally Westcott, RN, Bloomfield, CT

Sandra Tilley, Deep River, CT

Peter Herrmann

Nancy Decrisantis, New Hartford, CT

Marla Shiller, Manchester, CT

Marcia Cox, Avon, CT

Len Gourley, Suffield, CT

Kathryn Farnsworth, Northford, CT

Judith Case

Judith Lodi, Bolton, CT

Judy and Salvatore Apicella

Kate Sheely, Naugatuck, CT

Jim Pendergrast, Bolton, CT

Harry Perrone, Jr., Suffield, CT

Ellen Wilson

Christine Kaminski, Bridgeport, CT

Cora Martino, Stamford, CT

David Beskind, Hartford, CT

Donna Lucente, North Branford, CT

Bernice Berg, Monroe, CT

Susan King, New Hartford, CT

Sue Kautz, RN, HSUS State Council Member, Haddam, CT

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

None Expressed.

Reported by: Madeline Grabinski

Date: March 30, 2015