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."