Model Letter to Congress Opposing the Ivory Ban

Dear Congressman/Senator _______________:

I, like all Americans, find the out-of-control poaching of African elephants appalling. Unfortunately, instead of going after poachers, smugglers and traders of illicit ivory, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has decided to take its frustrations out on innocent Americans and small businesses through a Domestic Ivory Ban that will not save a single living elephant.

A Domestic Ivory Ban would irreparably harm owners of antiques, musical instruments and any items containing ivory legally imported into this country decades ago by stripping their value – a taking of BILLIONS of dollars from law-abiding Americans. The ban would criminalize legitimate business owners & job-creators and cause immediate ruinous financial loss.

[If you are personally affected by the ban, if you own any ivory or any item with even the smallest amount of ivory, add this section] Even though I have never traded illegal ivory nor killed a single elephant, the proposed ban would punish me by [describe what you own that will be devalued or how your business will be hurt]

Adding insult to injury, the ban goes against USFWS’s longstanding position that almost all ivory in the U.S. was legally imported before elephants were listed as endangered species and its sale in the U.S. has no impact on poaching in Africa. Now their position is Americans who have traded legal ivory need to be punished to set an example for people in China whom everyone agrees are the overwhelming buyers of illicit ivory.

We need a “Time Out” in this broken, runaway process so the views and concerns of legitimate businesses and innocent ivory owners can be considered in a policy that actually stops elephant poaching. I support an appropriations provision that would essentially keep ivory regulations as they were on February 1, 2014.

Thank you for your support,

(Include your name, city, state, and e-mail address at a minimum)