IDA Action Center Wrapper Top

Share this alert on:
Share to Facebook Twitter Tell A Friend

Tell Obama to Ban Ivory Sales in the US!

(Valid U.S. street address is required - P.O. Boxes cannot be used*)

Can the U.S. Stop African Elephants from Going Extinct in One Generation?

In Defense of Animals

Did you know that the United States is the world's second largest retail market for ivory, second only to China, when it comes to fueling the global poaching and smuggling crisis?

African elephants need our help here – in the U.S. If we don’t take action NOW, it may be too late to save this magnificent and keystone species. President Obama is currently considering this issue on a federal level so please call and write to him (see letter below).

State-level legislation is also vital now due to current loopholes in our federal laws. Thanks to increased awareness from an array of organizational and individual elephant and rhino advocates working tirelessly in partnership with lawmakers of both political parties to institute laws protecting elephants in the rest of our nation's states, 25 states have considered, or are now considering, legislation to restrict the trade of ivory and rhino horn within their borders.New York and New Jersey already have legislation in place and the latest state to pass this protection for elephants and rhinos is Oregon. Some of you have helped to accomplish this with your efforts, and we thank you!

Why is the complete ban of the ivory trade so important?

  • First, the impact of the U.S. ivory market is only second to China in this global crisis of wildlife trafficking! Why? In part, federal laws restrict the import, export, and interstate sale of ivory but they don’t regulate intrastate ivory sales adequately, and they also allow the continued sale of certain ivory, such as antiques. Action at the state level is important to support and reinforce action at the federal level and to close persistent loopholes that allow the ivory trade to thrive. Furthermore, both state and federal legislative efforts are facing strong opposition from wealthy groups like the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the National Association of Music Merchants. President Obama can do more to support our federal laws.

Shockingly, between 2010 and 2012 -100,000 elephants were killed for their ivory – an average of one every 15 minutes. The worldwide illegal ivory trade has more than doubled since 2007 and tripled since 1998. If you're not already convinced, a few more points:

  • Elephants are known as a "keystone species"; they are a species on which other species in an ecosystem largely depend, such that if it were removed the ecosystem would suffer drastically.
  • A Natural Resources Defense Council study on elephant ivory trafficking in California found that the legal market masks illegal activity. The study reported that as much as 90 percent of ivory for sale in Los Angeles and 80 percent in San Francisco is likely illegal under existing California law.
  • Elephant and rhino poaching is a brutal and bloody practice – animals are chased with helicopters and shot down with military-grade weapons. Tusks and horns are harvested by cutting off the faces of the sometimes still-living animals. Babies are often killed for their tiny stubble of tusk or horn. Babies whose lives are spared are left as orphans who will likely die.
  • Poaching is a national security issue – extremist groups and terrorist organizations are often involved in wildlife trafficking, using it to finance their military operations. Wildlife trafficking is among the top 5 criminal markets worldwide alongside narcotics, weapons, human trafficking, and counterfeiting.
  • Poaching for ivory and rhino horns is the cause of this crisis.
  • We may see extinctions within our lifetimes. Scientists estimate some populations of the African elephant will be extinct within the next decade if poaching continues at the current rate.

A comprehensive breakdown of state ivory legislation is as follows:

Legislation in place: NY, NJ. OR

Bill before legislature: CA, CT, FL, IL, MA, NV, RI, VT

Considering legislation, but no bill yet introduced: CO, DE, GA, KY, MO, PA, TX, DC

Legislation stalled: AR, HI, IA, MD, OK, VA, WA

No legislative action: AL, AK, AZ, ID, IN, KS, LA, ME, MI, MN, MS, MT, NE, NH, NM, NC, ND, OH, SC, SD, TN, UT, WV, WI, WY

What you can do:




1) First, please immediately call the Obama Administration at 202-456-1111.

You can say, "I am concerned about elephants and I do not want them going extinct due to the ivory trade. Please propose a rule to end the ivory trade in the United States."

2) Then, send our letter below.

3) Finally, stay tuned to IDA's, regional, state-wide alerts:

In the upcoming weeks we will be preparing to send you regional alerts for you to take action with just one click! Please make sure that you have provided IDA with the state in which you reside so that we can send you the appropriate alerts.

Save the date to participate in the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos:

Personalize and submit the form below to email your comments to:

  • President Barack Obama

(Valid U.S. street address is required - P.O. Boxes cannot be used*)

* our advocacy software requires actual street addresses in order to determine voting districts. Although we acknowledge that a P.O. Box is a valid mailing address, for advocacy purposes it cannot be used. Thank you for your understanding.


*Required fields

If you take action and have not already registered, you will receive periodic updates and communications from In Defense of Animals.


Implement the Rule that Would End the Illegal U.S. Ivory Trade

Dear [Decision Maker],

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]