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Wildlife trafficking bill sent to the governor

The Roundhouse

SANTA FE — A proposal heading to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham would prohibit the trafficking of wildlife threatened with extinction.

The legislation, Senate Bill 75, is intended to make it easier for local law enforcement to crack down on the sale of endangered species and their parts. It also establishes civil penalties of $10,000 or three times the value of the animal product.

“Traffickers are in the business they’re in because they want the money,” Senate Majority Whip Mimi Stewart, D-Albuquerque, said in a written statement. “Stiff financial penalties will hit them where it hurts. We need to take the profit out of killing endangered species.”

The bill passed the House on a 42-22 vote on Tuesday, the final approval needed to send it to the governor.

“New Mexico must join with the world in taking meaningful steps to save elephants, rhinos, lions, and other endangered species,” Rep. Gail Chasey, D-Albuquerque, said.

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