BEND, OR -- The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) wants to put a measure on Oregon’s November ballot the group says would protect animals close to extinction. Scott Beckstead is the Oregon State Director of the HSUS. He tells KBND News, "The measure addresses the trade in the parts of 12 types of animals that are the most heavily trafficked and the most critically endangered of the world’s species. These include elephants, rhinos, several species of big cats, as well as some marine species."
A similar measure passed in Washington state last year, with overwhelming support. "If you are caught trafficking in these types of products within Oregon you are going to face serious and significant financial penalties for doing so. We’re adding an additional layer of enforcement to existing federal regulations because the loophole is, once these products make it into the state, they’re not touched by federal law," says Beckstead. "We know that it’s happening, we also know that there’s a certain amount of these items that are bought and sold over the Internet, here in Oregon; so, it is a problem. And, the other value of a measure like this is it raises awareness."
The HSUS kicks off a signature gathering effort Thursday, Jan. 14 at 6:30 p.m., at the Humane Society of Central Oregon in Bend. Beckstead says they hope to collect around 126,000 signatures before July, to qualify for the November ballot.