Hawaii lawmakers weigh ban on ivory sales to protect animals

Published: Feb. 9, 2015 at 6:09 PM HST
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Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - A bill in the Hawaii Legislature would prohibit the sale of ivory and rhinoceros horns in the state.

Bill supporters say more than 35,000 African elephants were slaughtered in 2012.

There are international laws that protect the animals. But right now, ivory can be bought and sold in the U.S. if it was harvested before those laws were in place.

Supporters say ivory of unknown origin is often sold in Hawaii.

Opponents don't want a ban to affect the sale of antique jewelry, musical instruments and guns that contain ivory.

Hawaii lawmakers advanced the bill in the House Committee on Water and Land Monday. They added an exemption for items such as jewelry with a specific mark and clarinets that may contain a small portion of ivory.

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