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18.06.2014 Meryl Streep calls on Christie to sign anti-ivory bill

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Meryl Streep has a message for Governor Christie: Save the rhinos.

Streep, a three-time Academy Award winner best known for movies including "The Iron Lady" and "Sophie’s Choice," issued a statement Tuesday urging Christie to sign a bill that would prohibit the importation or sale of products made from ivory or rhinoceros horn. Supporters of the measure say that elephants and rhinoceroses are being killed at an alarming rate and quick action is needed to protect them from extinction.
Her plea comes one day after the legislation passed 75-2 in the Assembly and landed on the governor’s desk.

“Our state could be the first in the country to enact a ban on the importation and sale of ivory – a product of horrific cruelty to elephants and rhinos, who could very well become extinct within decades if we don’t act now,” said Streep, a native of Summit. “Governor, you have my full support and I hope you usher this critical bill through without delay.”

Representatives of the governor did not respond to a request for comment.

The bill moved through the Legislature quickly, taking barely a month and a half from the first committee hearing to the final approval. Supporters say time is of the essence.

“With raw ivory selling for approximately $1,500 a pound the black market trade is thriving,” said state Sen. Ray Lesniak, D-Union, a sponsor of the bill. “An estimated 35,000 elephants are slaughtered in Africa alone. At this rate, elephants will be killed into extinction within 20 years.”

Streep’s statement today was distributed by the Humane Society, which has pushed hard for the restriction. Supporters say the New Jersey bill could set a precedent for new laws in other states.

The bill would impose a fine of at least $1,000 or twice the value of the product, whichever is greater, for anyone found guilty of importing, selling or buying products made from ivory or rhinoceros horn.
27.06.2014 17:11:17
kabby15
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