Passing Measure 100 is a big win for animal rights

Illegal wildlife trade is estimated to be a multi-billion dollar business

Elephants Lily and Samudra got wet and wild as they enjoyed a new pool that's now part of the Oregon Zoo's Elephant Lands. (Facebook)
Elephants Lily and Samudra got wet and wild as they enjoyed a new pool that's now part of the Oregon Zoo's Elephant Lands. (Facebook)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — It was a big win for animal rights in Oregon when voters overwhelmingly passed Measure 100 on November 8.

Measure 100 prohibits the sale of products and parts of 12 specials of endangered wildlife: Elephants, rhinos, cheetah, tigers, sea turtles, lions, whales, sharks, pangolins, jaguars, rays and leopards.

An Amur leopard stands on a log at the Oregon Zoo in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)
An Amur leopard stands on a log at the Oregon Zoo in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

Oregon Zoo Director Don Moore was among those celebrating 70% majority pass.

“Oregon Zoo is creating a better future for wildlife here and around the world,” Moore said. “So it was really important for us to support measures like 100 that protect wildlife from sale and from poaching.”

Illegal wildlife trade is estimated to be a multi-billion dollar business.

Before Measure 100 passed, Oregon law didn’t stop sales within the state, only between states. Moore said that was a loop-hole for poaches, who could own illegal wildlife products and sell them within Oregon.

Washington and California passed similar laws in 2015.

“Sales of ivory, of rhino bone, of tiger bone, which is used in traditional Asian medicine, have been a problem,” Moore said. “Where we close the loop for sales in California and Washington, it becomes less of a problem.”

Governor Kate Brown endorsed Measure 100, along with numerous US officials and dozens of local and national organizations.

“It’s just vital that Oregonians protect animals with their vote,” voter Gwynne Cameron said. “I’m a lifelong animal rights activist so this was important to me.”

Moore also says if you want to help in other ways, think before you buy souvenirs while traveling, and check the US Fish and Wildlife website for what it says about illegal wildlife.

US Fish and Wildlife Service — Illegal wildlife trade