Anti-wildlife trafficking initiative qualifies for Washington ballot

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Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta (R) holds a burning torch as he prepares to burn a pile of 15 tons of elephant ivory seized in kenya in Nairobi National Park on March 3, 2015. Kenyatta set fire to a giant pile of elephant ivory, vowing to destroy the country's entire stockpile of illegal tusks by the year's end. The 15 tonnes destroyed was worth some $30 million on the black market and represented up to 1,500 slaughtered elephants -- and dwarfs the ivory burned by previous Kenyan leaders.  (Photo: CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images)

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta (R) holds a burning torch as he prepares to burn a pile of 15 tons of elephant ivory seized in kenya in Nairobi National Park on March 3, 2015. Kenyatta set fire to a giant pile of elephant ivory, vowing to destroy the country’s entire stockpile of illegal tusks by the year’s end. The 15 tonnes destroyed was worth some $30 million on the black market and represented up to 1,500 slaughtered elephants — and dwarfs the ivory burned by previous Kenyan leaders. (Photo: CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images)

SEATTLE (AP) — An initiative that would make it a crime for people to sell, trade or barter animal parts of endangered species has qualified for the November election.

The secretary of state’s office said Thursday that Initiative 1401 has enough valid signatures to be placed on the statewide ballot.

I-1401, backed by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, aims to discourage illegal wildlife trafficking by cracking down on markets for elephant ivory, shark fins and other animal parts.

It would cover 10 species threatened with extinction, in part due to poaching, including elephants, lions, tigers and cheetahs. Violators would face a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Museums would be exempt, along with certain antiques, musical instruments, and sales from estates.

Washington lawmakers considered a similar measure earlier this year, but it failed.

 

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