Furthermore, anyone can donate for example to the International Anti-Poaching Foundation which fights these poachers. The founder, Damien Mander, is an Australian ex spec-ops sniper who is using his military experience to train the park rangers since they, unlike the poachers, tend to be poorly equipped and trained as well as understaffed.
There is also the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust which takes care of elephant and rhino orphans (most of them are orphans due to poaching). For $50 a year, you can become a sponsor of a particular orphan and they'll send you photos and updates about how your sponsored orphan is doing. I've been giving these out as gifts with good successes. You can for example sponsor this little fella .
If only the new section 3, paragraph 1 had read: "...for a person, who knew or reasonably should have known that the animal source is a covered animal species, to sell, offer to sell..."
Until then, I'm not willing to give license to criminalize any more accidental or unknowing behavior, especially not with jail time and a mandatory minimum penalty of TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS, which is four-freaking-times the total market value needed to be convicted of "unlawful trafficking in the second degree." (Section 3, paragraph (4)(a).)
Section 3 paragraph 2 http://sos.wa.gov/_assets/elections/initiatives/FinalText_78...
"The covered animal species part or product is part of a bona fide antique, provided the antique status of such an antique is established by the owner or seller thereof with historical documentation evidencing provenance and showing the antique to be not less than one hundred years old, and the covered animal species
part or product is less than fifteen percent by volume of such an antique;"
It's a sensitive issue in the musical world. For a while (I haven't checked recently) it became illegal to sell or transport a piano with ivory keys no matter its year of manufacture (the piano industry moved away from natural ivory as late as the 1950s, so there's plenty of pianos on the market which fall under the ban).
Edit: more recent: http://www.thespectrum.com/story/life/2015/08/07/ivory-ban-i...
> it became illegal to sell or transport a piano with ivory keys no matter its year of manufacture
As it should be.
Also worth noting in the second case that a permit was issued and the instruments were still confiscated.
Somehow I doubt that.
> Also worth noting in the second case that a permit was issued and the instruments were still confiscated.
To be honest, I really don't care. Illegal ivory is impossible to distinguish from legal ivory and it's better to err on the side of caution.
Nevertheless, I am not discussing whether one should ban ivory or not. If US citizen want to ban old bows from being used in performances on their territory it is their choice to do so, and I broadly agree, based on what limited information I have read, that only a blanket ban can be effective.
What worries me is the tendency of law enforcement in this case to deviate from the rule of law. If someone has a permit and this permit is somehow invalidated upon their arrival, despite their having been told that everything was in order at departure (as was also the case in a previous thread about visas), individual rights have been infringed. It is not because it is something where many people have strong feelings (ivory and the slaughtering of African elephants) and the group of individuals affected is both small (classical musicians) and non-citizen, that the bending of the rules should be excused. Do you disagree with that position?
(I won't argue about demand. I personally am more likely to see a performance if the performer uses a rare instrument, such as a Stradivarius or an Amati. I discovered Guarneri via Leonid Kagan recordings, which were hair raisingly beautiful. Anecdotes don't make data, etc.)
the year of manufacturing is impossible to determine without a lab
> has the permits to prove it
the issue is that the customs officers who are supposed to be in charge of this are very understaffed. for example, there's only 6 customs employees dealing with this for all cargo coming into nyc and nj. it's impossible for them to check all of it. forgery is also very common.
> What worries me is the tendency of law enforcement in this case to deviate from the rule of law.
are you going to generalize from that one instance? if you have more examples, please provide them. also this is something that happens at the customs quite a bit. idk, do you care this much about other things confiscated during import even if they had the permits? yeah, sure, i care maybe a bit but fundamentally i don't care.
> Do you disagree with that position?
Well, we kind of have to pick our fights. And I know which one I picked.
I outright disagree with this position, which has been quite common in the US recently ("well, those CIA prisons have been happening quite a bit, and it helps the fight against terrorism anyway, plus, those are terrorists, they don't have any rights anymore. Not going to affect me anyway, I'm American, and I'm on the good side."). And you can go back to the lynch mobs of the Wild West for a more visual version.
Not wishing to be overdramatic, I did not bring up Niemoller until now, but his point stands. And of course there is the issue of flavours of patriotism (or loyalty to a cause) which is split into "my country right or wrong" vs "do the right thing no matter what". Aside from moral considerations, being in the "right or wrong" camp often backfires by providing the opposition with intellectual ammo to slow it down with.
To answer your question I care not one bit about what gets confiscated so long as it gets confiscated legally. It is good that you are fighting for the African elephants and I admire you for it. But I disagree that one has to behave above the law because of it.
Note I said illegal confiscations and you removed it. This is actually a very important point, in a system that assumes the law is our best guess at protecting individual rights.
The law is not what's in your eyes, it's what's established by elected legislatures. And the proposed Washington law says that there is legal ivory if it's over 100 years old, and/or a very small part by volume of a musical instrument.
The argument that banning the sales won't work because it doesn't work for drugs is just silly. Do you see a black market say for Kinder Surprise eggs?
There's an interactive map too: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/tracking-ivory/map.html
I believe Yao Ming has done some work raising awareness around the ivory trade. Any other revered Chinese celebrities?
It might lead to people being killed for knowingly or unknowingly passing off fake ivory as the real thing.
The ivory trade, like the drug trade, is entrenched. There are a lot of people involved. There’s a large, complex, long-standing, and covert structure to deal with. As law enforcement has so clearly demonstrated, you can’t solve behavioral problems at scale with contempt and violence.
The really thorny problems in the world won’t be beaten into submission. To negotiate our way out of this problem, it’s necessary to see the offenders as real, valuable human beings.
The lesson of the drug war is twofold: it is immoral to dictate what a person does with their body to the extent they are not harming society, and it is impractical to try to limit the harm drug use does to society by criminalizing drug use and sale. However that is not equivalent to saying, for example, that we ought to try to reason with and come to an understanding with vicious drug cartels. I was proud that I could vote to legalize marijuana in Washington State, and I hope it's a small step on the road to a total dismantling of the War On Drugs. But the point of all that is to weaken the cartels so that they may be destroyed. I would happily bury every member of Los Zetas at the center of the Earth.
So it goes with poaching syndicates.
What they're doing is harmful and needs to be stopped; sometimes violence may sadly be necessary to protect elephant and human lives. That doesn't mean that the life of a mere courier is worthless and can be thoughtlessly discarded.
People matter. Life matters. Killing those you judge to "not matter" is the beginning of the spiral slide to inhumanity.
Catch, incarcerate, re-educate.
Don't ever kill as a punishment. The death penalty is barbaric, and is only condoned by barbarians.
The people at the bottom end of the ivory trade are probably very similar to the people at the bottom end of the drugs trade, or the piracy (real, not digital) trade. Uneducated, and desperate.
Killing is a simple solution, espoused by simple minds, for very complex problems.
With the exception of high profile politically motivated assassinations, where the victim becomes a rallying point for civil unrest, murdering your enemies tends to result in having fewer enemies. The world as a whole simply does not care enough about individual humans to invest its resources into rehabilitating criminals rather than punishing them. And when the humane solution would involve a complete overhaul of an entire economy, including improvements to the public education system, you're talking some real money.
Training up a few wildlife rangers and keeping them well stocked with bullets is a minimum viable solution for keeping the elephant herds alive long enough for the local economy to develop enough to make poaching for ivory obsolete. Re-education requires infrastructure that we take for granted in industrialized countries, but is simply not yet present in rural Africa, away from the cities.
Not even the U.S. can pull this off in its own backyard. Re-educate all you want, but if the guy still can't find a job good enough to pay his family after you finish, he'll go right back to growing weed, cooking meth, distilling moonshine, running guns, poaching ivory, or whatever other illegal thing that pays a month of wages or more in one score. And never mind re-education, if educating the first time isn't good enough for a decent job. How many people with a BA in History work in a restaurant or cafe or retail store for their living? Is an ex-con with a GED going to do any better?
Execution may be barbaric, but it produces immediate, visible results, which may be touted by politicians as "doing something about the problem." There's no way they would spring for a solution that would take at least a full generation to take hold, stress the treasury to the breaking point, and end up putting more power in the hands of the common people, rather than keeping it vested in the elites.
You can't rehabilitate just the criminal. You also have to rehabilitate all the circumstances that led to the crime. Otherwise, just as with killing, someone else steps in to fill the niche vacated by the ex-criminal.
Rehabilitation is an expensive solution, espoused by compassionate but impractical minds, for very complex problems.
>The world as a whole simply does not care enough about individual humans to invest its resources into rehabilitating criminals rather than punishing them.
The argument over capital punishment is a debate in the US, but not in many other countries.
As of July 2015, of the 195 independent states that are UN members or have UN observer status:
-102 have abolished it for all crimes;
-7 have abolished, but retain it for exceptional or special circumstances (such as crimes committed in wartime);
-50 retain, but have not used it for at least 10 years or are under a moratorium;
-36 retain it in both law and practice.
The map on that Wikipedia entry should show you what esteemed company the US is in with regards to maintaining the death penalty.
>Not even the U.S. can pull this off in its own backyard.
Meghan J. Ryan, in her paper "Death and Rehabilitation" discusses how, in the US, the threat of the death penalty is somehow considered to be a trigger for rehabilitation. A dangerous conflation if ever I saw one, and an article worth reading. I won't quote from it, as it discusses both sides of the argument, and I don't want to cherry pick. You should read it, while remembering that it discusses the topic from a uniquely American viewpoint.
>Training up a few wildlife rangers and keeping them well stocked with bullets is a minimum viable solution for keeping the elephant herds alive long enough for the local economy to develop enough to make poaching for ivory obsolete. Re-education requires infrastructure that we take for granted in industrialized countries, but is simply not yet present in rural Africa, away from the cities.
Regarding poaching, rehab has been proven to work:
During training courses, even convicted poachers have been rehabilitated and sent out to work as rangers
These rangers were part of the problem, and are now part of the solution. If they had been killed, they wouldn't be part of anything. This also seems to show that the problem of training infrastructure in rural Africa is being solved, and that further efforts in this direction would have greater benefit.
Other than that, your argument seems to be that the problem is too large and too expensive. I argue that history has shown that we can, and should change our nature, and that killing isn't as cheap as you suggest.
Assuming the fake ivory is cheap enough to manufacture, this could be a sustainable industry, as well as save wildlife.
That only works if the fake product and the real product are indistinguishable goods. Fake ivory and real ivory are not equivalent; one has value as a status symbol. The cheaper fake ivory becomes, the more of a premium there is on having the real thing.
That's the fear, anyway, and it's not total fantasy. Luxury car brands capture new customers with that exact model. The lowest tier of luxury car is even called the "entry-level" segment.
Experts aren't sure if it would be a problem yet, and are understandably concerned they might simply make the problem worse. Don't rule the concept out simply for vague association with the failing "war on drugs". "Should we flood the market with imitation ivory" and "Should we ban cannabis" are very different questions.
Also, indirect prohibition has shown to be failure time and time again, often being more harmful than not.
Could anybody elaborate on how they pass off the fake tusks to the smugglers? Do they, for lack of a better word, install the tusks on the elephants and wait for the elephants to be poached or do they sell the tusks to the smugglers so the smugglers can flip the tusks?
The investigator is understandably a big cagey about methods, etc. so as not to expose people and future investigations.
Well I found out it's a fake, but it's a really good fake. The guy I brought it to didn't realize at first, but eventually determined it was a fake. He then said, "If they can get polymers so close to real Ivory 40 years ago--why are they still killing animals for it?"
I hope China follows through on their plan to stop the sale of Ivory, but I have a feeling we need to step up our efforts to stop this. If it was up to me, I would have these areas protected by the National Guard.(If Africa would allow us there for this specific reason?)
I hate to even bring up that Dentist, but I congratulate the companies that rufused to be accomplices in
this horrid, despicable hobby? I don't know know Ted N, or crazy Alaskan woman can condone his retched behavior? In my mind, I have my hands around that dentist's neck.