New York has enshrined a new law to ban giraffe trade as the state leads the way in protecting wild and endangered animals.
On Friday, December 13, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed the bill- introduced by Steve Englebright (Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee Chair) and Sen. Monica Martinez- that renders giraffes as vulnerable species and bans the trade of their body parts.
According to a report released by the Humane Society of the United States and affiliate team, hunters and traders imported around 40,000 giraffe ‘trophies’ into the United States between 2006 and 2015.
The data revealed that the U.S market was a hotbed for the animals’ skin and bones sold in the form of pillows, boots, knife handles, bible covers, and other trinkets despite the animals’ dwindling numbers.
“This is a historic day for animal protection, and we applaud Governor Cuomo for signing this groundbreaking legislation to prohibit the sale of giraffe parts and products,” said New York senior state director for the Humane Society of the United States, Brian Shapiro.
“New York will now lead the way for other states to follow in protecting this iconic species.”
“We thank Gov. Cuomo and New York for standing tall for giraffes today, and for showing just how our states can play a role in conserving this important species,” acknowledged Kitty Block, the president and CEO of HSUS in the press release.
“No giraffe should have to die for a knife handle or a jacket, and we cannot act soon enough to end our nation’s role in the trafficking of giraffe body parts.”
The bill also calls for similar protections to other endangered animal species including the hippopotamus, seven species of pangolins and the star tortoise.
New York’s animal protection efforts
The giraffe bill is one of the many governmental policies that New York has implemented in a bid to protect animals.
Last October, New York followed California in implementing a ban on foie gras across the city. The foie gras production involves force feeding geese and ducks, which causes their livers to become diseased and swell to up to ten times their normal size.
Earlier in July, New York State outlawed cat declawing, which involves cutting the animals’ bones to prevent them from growing claws.
In another initiative, public schools in New York City implemented the Resolution-238 orders passed by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and Council Member Fernando Cabrera to ban processed meat in their cafeterias.
How do animal rights laws where you live compare to New York’s? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
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