Association of Applied Paleontological Sciences The Journal of
Paleontological Sciences
"Paleontology in the spirit of cooperation"
Issue #12: Winter 2019  January 1, 2019 
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Fossil Ivory Ban

International Fossil Laws

Paleo News


States Banning The Sale of Fossil Ivory
and Proposed Legislation

Fossil Ivory Update - A law firm in California, on behalf of the "Ivory Education Institute" a non-profit organization, filed a complaint against the State of California. "According to the lawsuit (BC602584), Assembly Bill 96, now codified as Section 2022 of the California Fish and Wildlife Code, violates the Constitution by interfering with the federal government's exclusive power over U.S. foreign affairs. The lawsuit notes that the U.S. already protects elephants and other ivory-bearing animals through various treaties and laws, rendering the California law duplicative and superfluous." The documents were filed the second week of August and A hearing on the lawsuit is scheduled for November 8 in the courtroom of Judge William F. Fahey.

Because of the poaching of African Elephants, many countries have banned the import of modern Ivory. Smugglers have been marking shipments of modern ivory as fossil ivory to get it past customs. Here in the United States, beginning with New Jersey and New York, state legislators have been submitting bills to ban the sale of all ivory, modern and fossil.

While the differences between extant elephant ivory and fossil Mammoth ivory have been recognized for some time, and a good example and description can be found on the Fish and Wildlife Service page;, State legislatures have simply decided to go the less expensive route and ban all ivory. This should be addressed in each state that bans fossil ivory.

For clarification, we are posting the complete legislation and proposed bills of all states involved. The list will be updated on a regular basis and we will do our best to keep it current.

The following states have proposed legislation in process. If and when bills are signed into law, we will update the links. NOTE: While we make every attempt to locate the current legislation regarding fossil Ivory, new bills and current legislation is not always easily found. You must check with your own state legislators to see if there are additional proposed bans or bills that have passed.

1. Arkansas; Senate Bill 928 (Killed in Committee)

2. Connecticut; Proposed Bill No. 5700 (Vague definition of Ivory), Tabled for the Calendar, House May 5, 2015. Legislative Link

3. Florida; Senate Bill 1120 (Includes Mammoth Ivory), Died in Environmental Preservation and Conservation Location: In committee/council (EP), May 1, 2015. Legislative Link

4. Illinois; Senate Bill 1858 (Includes Mammoth Ivory), Currently in Committee, May 15, 2015 Legislative Link

5. Iowa; SF 30 (Includes Mammoth Ivory) In Sub-committee February 11, 2015 Legislative Link

6. Maryland; House Bill 713 (Vague definition of Ivory), Unfavorable Report by Judiciary, remains in Committee, March 16, 2015 Legislative Link

7. Massachusetts; Senate Bill S.2575 (Includes Mammoth Ivory) Remains in Committee June 25, 2018. Legislative Link

8. Oklahoma; HB1787 (Vague definition of Ivory), Second Reading referred to Wildlife Committee February 3, 2015 Legislative Link

9. Rhode Island; House 5660 (Includes Mammoth Ivory) Committee recommended measure be held for further study, April 15, 2015 Legislative Link

10. Vermont; House 297 (Includes Mammoth Ivory), In Committee February 24, 2015 Legislative Link

11. Washington; House Bill 1131 (Includes Mammoth Ivory) By resolution, reintroduced and retained in present status. June 28,2015 Legislative Link

12. Delaware; Senate Bill 156 (Includes Mammoth Ivory) Senate Banking and Business Committee June 24, 2015. Legislative Link

13. Michigan; Senate Bill 371 (Includes Mammoth Ivory) REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON NATURAL RESOURCES June 4, 2015 See also House Bill 4509 Legilative Link

Last Updated: March 14, 2019
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