Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham officially signed the Wildlife Trafficking Act (SB 75) that prohibits wildlife trafficking and allows New Mexico to prosecute offenders. It establishes civil penalties of $10,000 or three times the value of the animal product. 

New Mexico will be the 11th state to pass such a law but while most state’s trafficking laws are exclusive to some of the most charismatic species like elephants, rhinoceros, tigers, etc., New Mexico’s law will prohibit the sale or trade of all species listed on Appendix 1 of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species). 

The bill passed the House on a 42-22 vote in February and was signed into law today. 

Michael Dax, New Mexico Representative for Defenders of Wildlife, issued this statement: 

“It is clear that the illegal wildlife trafficking industry is threatening the future of thousands of species and with numerous reports of the extinction crisis facing wildlife, it is critical we act now to end this practice. This bill is a critical step forward toward empowering New Mexico law enforcement to protect endangered species and we are grateful for the state’s leadership on this issue."

Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With over 1.8 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter @Defenders.

Media Contact

Rebecca Bullis
Rebecca Bullis
Communications Associate
(202) 772-0295



Washington, D.C.

Lawmakers Seek to Address Wildlife Trade as Source of Coronavirus Pandemic

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread across the U.S., China recently reopened its wet wildlife markets. These markets, which sell animals in crowded conditions that are unsafe for both wildlife and humans, have been pegged as the most likely place the disease originally spread from wildlife species.
Seattle, Wash.

Final State Budget Funds Wildlife Projects, Delays Studies for Dam Management

Last week Gov. Jay Inslee finalized the state’s fiscal year 2020 operating budget, allocating urgent funds for the COVID-19 pandemic response.