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Wildlife Trafficking Initiative Passes

Elaine Thompson
Barbara Bennett, President and Chief Operating Officer of Vulcan Inc, right, speaks at a news conference announcing Initiavie 1401

Washington voters passed a ballot measure that would outlaw sales of items ranging from lion skins to elephant ivory.

The first batch of election results Tuesday night showed Initiative 1401 with an overwhelming lead in early returns across the state. The measure would ban the purchase, sale and distribution of parts or products made from 10 endangered animals. They include lions, elephants, rhinos, tigers, leopards, cheetahs, marine turtles, pangolins, sharks and rays.

Offenders could face a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Critics have argued the measure will do little to help reduce poaching. But supporters say Washington can serve as a model for other states.