LOS ANGELES – City Attorney Mike Feuer today announced that his office’s Environmental Justice Unit has filed three criminal cases against alleged online and storefront sellers of all ivory merchandise following a collaboration with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. The prosecutions are the first in California under a new law prohibiting any sale of ivory products in California.
"The ivory trade is barbaric. It jeopardizes many animals that are at risk or on the verge of extinction," said Feuer. "My office will vigorously prosecute cases alleging ivory sales, because we must protect these rare animals, who are killed so cruelly for the sake of greed."
"AB 96 banned the ivory trade, but prohibition is meaningless without investigation and enforcement," said State Senator Toni Atkins (D-San Diego). "Thanks to the Department of Fish and Wildlife and City Attorney Feuer and his team, criminals who are perpetuating the horrific slaughter of elephants, narwhals and other animals are now being prosecuted and a message is being sent to others who would profit from the heartless killing of these creatures: You will be brought to justice."
"These cases exemplify the mission of our Wildlife Trafficking Unit and demonstrate that black market trafficking of wildlife in California will not be tolerated. We stand beside our City Attorney partners to take these poachers and traffickers out of business," said, David Bess, Fish and Wildlife, Chief of Law Enforcement
"Undercover investigations revealed that, for years, legal markets in California provided cover for the illegal ivory market," said Zak Smith, Director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s (NRDC) Wildlife Trade Initiative. "Thanks to California's new law, we can crack down on this illicit activity - which is contributing to the death of thousands of elephants. Today’s action should send a strong message to poachers and the cartels behind them that California is