ALBANY -Gov. Cuomo marked World Elephant Day Tuesday by signing legislation intended to stop the sale of illegal ivory products and crack down on poachers.
The new law, which was adopted by the Legislature in the spring, bans the sale of elephant and mammoth ivory as well as rhinoceros horns.
It also stiffens civil and criminal penalties for trafficking ivory products, including felony charges for the sale, trade or barter of ivory products that exceed $25,000.
“Restricting the market for ivory articles will help bring an end to the slaughtering of elephants and rhinoceroses and sends a clear message that we will not allow the illegal ivory trade to continue in New York,” Cuomo said.
The law contains limited exceptions for antiques and other products that are at least 100 years old and have only a small amount of ivory.
The measure was inspired by former Environmental Conservation Officer John Fitzpatrick , who headed investigations of illegal ivory sales for the state. Fitzpatrick, a 46-year-old lieutenant in the department, died earlier this year of an apparent heart attack.
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