HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Hawaii law touted as the nation's broadest wildlife trafficking ban has taken effect, state officials said.
Act 125 prohibits the sale, purchase, trade, possession with intent to sell or barter of endangered or critically-endangered species, sea turtles and monk seals among the many.
The Senate bill passed in 2016, however, enforcement of the law was delayed until June 30.
"Many may not be aware that globally, wildlife trafficking falls right behind, and often hand in hand with illegal drugs, weapons and human trafficking crimes," said state Sen. Mike Gabbard, who sponsored the measure. "Act 125 now serves as a model for other states and nations to emulate."
Hawaii has the third largest ivory market in the U.S., trailing New York and California.
"Wildlife trafficking remains a high priority for enforcement," said state Division of Conservation and Resource Enforcement Chief Robert Farrell. "We support any legislation that recognizes the importance of protecting species that are at risk of exploitation. Hawai'i is doing its part to be globally aware of this issue."
The new law has gained the support of national and international conservation groups, including the Humane Society of the United States, the International Fund for Animal Welfare and dozens more.