NYS Image Share“Ten years to live.” That phrase can make a decade seem like merely a day.

Though this may not be your expiration date, our world’s elephant population may be wiped out by 2024. Elephants are slaughtered everyday for their ivory tusks, with total killings reaching 35,000 each year. That’s 96 elephants every day.

The ivory trade also puts an expiration date on victims of human rights violations. African rebel groups use the ivory trade to fund their mass atrocities across the continent. These groups are notorious for committing human rights violations including murder, mutilation, rape, widespread abductions of children and adults, sexual slavery and large-scale massacres.

Though the plight of elephants, and ultimately humans, across the African continent may seem distant from western soil, American ivory sales are contributing to this international industry of crime.

The state of New York is one of the largest ivory markets in the world, contributing money and man power to a dangerous and deadly industry. Fortunately, New York is also in a powerful position to take the lead in helping to end this crisis.

A statewide independent survey shows that more than 80% of New Yorkers unequivocally support a state ban on ivory sales, and the passage of A8824/S7194 would ban ivory sales in New York.

This week United to End Genocide added our voice of support for the work of 96elephants.org and submitted this letter to Speaker Sheldon Silver of the New York State Assembly.

To stop the mass killings of the beloved elephants, and to prevent cash flow from our pockets to human rights violators, please visit 96elephants.org for more information and to take action against the dangers of ivory trade.

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