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PR- 329-04
December 01, 2004


Remarks by Mayor Bloomberg at a Public Hearing on Local Laws

"The next bill before me today is Introductory Number 367-A, sponsored by Council Members Clarke, Liu, Reed, Gennaro, Barron, Brewer, Gerson, Koppell, Lopez, Martinez, Palma, Perkins, Sanders, Vallone and Weprin.  Int. 367-A makes it illegal to buy or sell, or attempt to buy or sell, any product, item, or substance claiming to contain or actually containing an endangered or threatened species, without a Federal or State Permit.

"Under Federal and State Law, it is illegal to sell or possess species listed as endangered or threatened.  Despite these laws prohibiting or regulating its trade, unlawful wildlife products, such as tiger bone and rhino horn, are still being sold in New York City.  In order to recognize and prosecute offenders of these laws, law enforcement personnel must employ expensive and often inconclusive DNA testing in an effort to demonstrate that a given product contains an endangered or threatened species.  Given the expense and difficulty of such DNA testing, local authorities often do not have the resources to properly enforce endangered species laws.

"This bill would strengthen existing laws by imposing additional penalties on the sale or purchase of products that are advertised or labeled as containing ingredients derived from an endangered or threatened species.  By making the labeling of a product as containing an endangered or threatened species illegal, this bill obviates the need for DNA testing prior to enforcement.

"The Department of Consumer Affairs will be required to publish on their website a list of all fish and wildlife designated by New York law as endangered or threatened.  Merchants who violate these regulations will be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $500 per violation occurring on the same day, and not less than $500 nor more than $1500 for each subsequent violation occurring within the following 2 years.  Any product bought, sold or attempted to be sold will be subject to forfeiture.

"I would like to thank the Council for their work on this bill, especially Council Member Clarke for her interest and dedication to this issue.  I would also like to thank the Department of Consumer Affairs for their efforts."


Edward Skyler / Jordan Barowitz   (212) 788-2958

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