The US is a huge part of the global trade in ivory, second only to China. And within the US, New York is the number one importer ivory into the country. So the decision by the New York Legislature to ban the sale and purchase of ivory AND rhino horn is remarkable.
With support from conservation groups (The Wildlife Conservation Society, Natural Resources Defense Council and The Humane Society of the United States) and celebrities (Billy Joel, Meryl Streep, Kristin Davis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Dave Matthews, and Matt Sorum), the bill is expected to be signed into law.
The law places a permanent ban on the sale of elephant and mammoth ivory and rhino horn and increases the penalty for those found to be possessing or selling it.
This does not come as a complete surprise, as President Obama prioritized cracking down on wildlife trafficking in July of 2013, but it is definitely a crucial win in the battle of poaching.