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SPRINGFIELD – In 2018, Illinois prohibited the trade of ivory and rhino horn, but other animal species continue to face the threat of extinction due to demand for their parts. Senator Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) says it’s time for Illinois to protect more species, and legislation for that purpose passed out of the Senate Commerce Committee on Thursday.

“The federal policy regarding illegal smuggling and trafficking of wildlife parts has been strengthened, and it’s time for Illinois to get on board,” Holmes said. “Species are threatened with extinction because of these practices.”

House Bill 395 would prohibit the sale of products and parts of giraffes, sharks, sea turtles, pangolins, tigers, lions, great apes and other imperiled species. Some examples:

  • Fewer than 7,100 cheetahs remain in the wild.
  • A quarter of all shark and ray species are threatened with extinction.
  • Between 2006 and 2015, the US imported approximately 40,000 giraffe parts and products.
  • All seven sea turtle species are threatened with extinction.
  • African lion populations have declined since 1993 and continue to decline.

“Each of them has their place on this planet, and killing these beautiful creatures is horribly cruel,” Holmes said. “Shark fins are in high demand; poachers simply cut off their fins then drop them back in the ocean, where they will drown because they can no longer swim. We can’t condone such brutality.”

House Bill 395 passed the Illinois House with strong bipartisan support. It now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

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