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Congresswoman McCollum Statement on Proposed Ivory Rule

July 25, 2015
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, the Obama Administration announced new regulations for the sale of items containing ivory. Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN) released the following statement in response to the announcement:

“The poaching of African Elephants has reached a level of crisis and this majestic and beloved species is facing extinction.  The driving force behind poaching is the demand for ivory in foreign markets.  The United States is one of the largest markets for illegal ivory in the world, and I applaud the step the President took today to stop our role in the demise of the African Elephant.

The draft rule that President Obama and Interior Secretary Jewell released today regulating the sale of items containing ivory will reign in the market for illegal ivory in the United States.  By requiring that sellers verify the legality of their ivory before it can be sold, we can be sure that American markets are not contributing to the extinction of the African Elephant.  The rule also contains reasonable concessions for the sale of genuine antiques, items containing minimal amounts of ivory, and the use of performance instruments.

As nearly 96 African Elephants per day are being killed across the continent, it is imperative that countries around the world do what they can to protect this beautiful species.  Today’s rule is a significant step, and a critical part of our larger law enforcement strategy to ensure that the United States is a leader in ending the poaching of African Elephants and the illegal trade of ivory.”


Congresswoman McCollum is the ranking Democratic member on the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee and the Democratic co-chair of the Native American Caucus.