Bill would outlaw sale of ivory

BOSTON (AP) — Animal protection groups are joining Massachusetts lawmakers to urge the state to ban the sale of ivory and rhinoceros horn.

Supporters say elephants and rhinos are being killed in growing numbers for their tusks and horns, and anti-trafficking laws can help to discourage poaching and save the animals from extinction.

A bill sponsored by Sen. Jason Lewis of Winchester and Rep. Lori Ehrlich of Marblehead that would outlaw the import, sale or purchase of ivory and rhino horn was heard earlier this month by a legislative committee.

Backers want Massachusetts to be the fourth state to pass such a law after New York, New Jersey and California.

The International Federation for Animal Welfare says a 2008 study pegged the Boston/Cambridge area as the nation’s seventh largest ivory market.

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