To help save all ivory from proposed punitive federal regulations, request an extension for the comment period on the regulations from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service NOW!
Among other unreasonable stipulations, the regulations would require you to prove that the ivory on your knife or other item was imported prior to Jan. 18, 1990—a near impossibility for most people to prove about such items. The regulations also claim that the USA continues to play a role as a destination and transit country for illegally traded elephant ivory. However, as Sandra Brady of the Elephant Protection Association noted, the regulations offer no proof of this claim and no figures as to what percentage of illegal ivory is “laundered” here.
The proposed regulations were released on July 29, and concerned citizens were given only 60 days to contact the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) with any objections the citizens might have to the regulations. Since there are 27 pages of proposed regulations, regulations the government had over 13 months to research and write, it seems only fair that concerned citizens get more than 60 days to respond. In fact, the law provides for up to a 90-day comment period, which is especially appropriate for regulations that are so voluminous and affect so many Americans.
The Elephant Protection Association has composed a form letter for you to use to request the extension. The letter is located here. Keep your request short and simple. Amend the letter to fit your association/group but don't try to make a substantive case of why the extension should be granted so much as simply let FWS know the extension must be granted. The more people, associations and groups that request the extension, the better. In this instance, it's more a matter of the quantity of requests than the quality of them.
The Elephant Protection Association strongly advises that you send your letter via priority or overnight mail with a means of confirming receipt.
For more information visit elephantprotection.org.
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