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Illinois: Ban the Purchase and Sale of Ivory and Rhinoceros Horns

Illinois: Ban the Purchase and Sale of Ivory and Rhinoceros Horns

Name: Ivory Ban Act

Bill Number: HB 4843

HB 4843 would create a statewide ban on the purchase and sale of ivory and rhinoceros horns, as well as products made from these materials. Exceptions will be made under the following circumstances:

  • for certain antiques containing ivory or rhino horns that are accompanied by documentation certifying that they are over 100 years old;
  • for certain certified antique musical instruments containing no more than 20% ivory or rhino horn; and
  • for a bequest to a beneficiary on the death or in anticipation of death of the owner.

A permit would be needed for the purchase, sale or possession of ivory or rhino horns being used for educational or scientific purposes.

The continued legal trade in these products assists the black market in selling illegally-taken body parts, contributes to elephant and rhino poaching, and adds to the endangerment of these majestic animals.

This bill was introduced in 2015, 2016 and 2017, but has not yet passed. As the plight of endangered elephants and rhinos grows, so does the urgency of this bill.


Call to Actions:

  1. Please contact your State Representative and urge them to support this legislation.
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  • Your State Representative or Representatives


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Ban the Purchase and Sale of Ivory and Rhinoceros Horns

Dear [Decision Maker],

I am writing to ask your support for HB4843, which would ban the purchase, sale, trade and possession with intent to sell of ivory and rhinoceros horns. Each year, thousands of elephants and rhinos are killed by poachers in order to harvest their tusks and horns. Elephant tusks are used to create jewelry and carvings while rhino horns are ground up for their alleged medicinal value.

This bill would allow exceptions for certain antiques accompanied by documentation certifying that they are over 100 years old, for certain musical instruments, and for ivory and rhino horns used for educational and scientific purposes. Additionally, individuals could still legally inherit ivory and rhino horns as part of an estate.

Elephants and rhinos are two of the most majestic creatures on earth. Sadly, they are currently on the path to extinction. In the early 20th century, there were approximately 10 million elephants in Africa. In 2016, scientists estimated that there were fewer than 400,000 remaining on the continent. And with fewer than 30,000 rhinos worldwide, scientists warn that the current rate of poaching could lead to their extinction in less than 10 years.

This is a dire situation that needs immediate attention to discourage poaching and to save elephants and rhinos from extinction. This is the third year in a row that this bill has been introduced, and unfortunately, it failed to pass both of the previous times. I hope that you will give your full support to the passage of this bill before the end of the current legislative session so that it may finally become law.

Thank you.

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