Letters to the Editor

WILDLIFE: I-1401 seeks to protect endangered species

Washington voters have an opportunity to make an impact and contribute to a multifaceted global effort to save animals threatened with extinction by voting “yes” on Initiative 1401. I-1401 will prohibit the purchase, sale and distribution of products made from 10 threatened and endangered animals, including elephants, rhinos and sea turtles.

The U.S. is the second largest market for the ivory trade, with Seattle and Tacoma as major entry points. Since 2010, there have been more than 50 seizures of elephant products entering Washington state, and additional seizures of products from other threatened animals, yet none of those seizures resulted in jail time for the perpetrators. We have a responsibility to put an end to the poaching of threatened and endangered animals.

Almost every major newspaper in the state has endorsed I-1401, along with the nation’s leading conservation and zoological organizations, including the Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle Aquarium and Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium.

By voting for I-1401, Washingtonians can play a role in stopping the cruel killing of threatened and endangered animals by closing down the markets to wildlife trafficking right here at home.