Lawmakers on Friday sent Gov. Jerry Brown a bill banning all ivory sales in California, securing a victory for animal rights activists and Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, D-San Diego.
While California law already prohibits selling ivory, it exempts ivory imported before 1977. Atkins and allies said that loophole undercut enforcement, because determining the age of ivory can be difficult, and nourished a trade that is enabling poachers and driving elephants and rhinoceroses to the brink of extinction.
Amendments to the bill also barred the sale of mastodon products, which advocates said are easy to confuse with ivory and thus allow traders to sell ivory labeled as mastodon.
Assembly members passed Assembly bill 96 on a 47-21 vote without debate.