Markets in Endangered Animal Parts

business_ethics_highlights_2Washington state wants to do more to crack down on trafficking in parts of endangered animals, and on trinkets made out of those parts. The controversy arises with regard to possession of, and trading in, antiques that were made from, say, elephant ivory 90 years ago, before elephants were endangered. Should that be a crime, too? On what grounds?

Note also that our friends Brennan and Jaworski would likely point out that the badness of this trade comes not from the fact that parts of endangered animals are being sold, but rather from the fact that the animals are being killed. Money has no role to play in the wrongness; killing them and giving the parts away for free would be just as evil. Of course, if there were no market for their parts (which is effectively what this law is trying to accomplish) fewer endangered animals would get killed. >>>

LINK: Washington State Weighs Far-Reaching Law on Animal Trafficking (by Kirk Johnson in NYT)

…On Tuesday, what wildlife experts say could be the most far-reaching statewide law on animal trafficking in the nation — and the first such proposal to go to a statewide vote — will be on the ballot here in Washington State. The new law would condemn and criminalize the modern trade that is wiping out many threatened species but would allow, with strict rules, the antiques that echo an earlier time and fashion sensibility….

What do you think?

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