JP Pets: MSPCA pushes for ivory ban

The Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA), which includes a hospital and adoption center at 350 S. Huntington Ave., is pushing for a law at the State House that would ban the sale of ivory in Massachusetts.

“We are still contributing to the deaths of rhinos and elephants,” said MSPCA spokesperson Rob Halpin.

He said that while there is a federal ban of ivory products, it is still legal to trade in antique ivory and that it is “very hard to tell if ivory is old or new.”

“It is very easy for collectors and antique buyers to get past the ban,” said Halpin.

There is currently a bill in the senate (440) and the house (1275) that would ban the sale of ivory. Halpin said that the MSPCA is working with several organizations, including Zoo New England, to push for passage of the ban. He said the proposed ban faces opposition from antique dealers and museums, noting that art made from ivory would be rendered less valuable if the ban passes.

Other news:

–The hospital at the MSPCA will celebrate its 100-year anniversary next month with a series of community events. Halpin said the organization is still working out the details of the events.

“It’s pretty exciting and quite a milestone,” he said.

–Halpin said that the state is nearing an end to homeless cats and a big part of that is because of the effort by MSPCA and other organizations to spay and neuter them. MSPCA has neutered or spayed about 2,500 cats in each of the last three years.

“A home for every cat is around the corner,” he said.

Halpin said that MSPCA has been going out into communities, such as Jamaica Plain, Dorchester and Mattapan, and having free neuter-and-spay drives.

That seems to have paid off, as the number of cats the organization has taken in during that time period has dropped from 3,593 to 3,088 and the number of kittens dropped from 2,127 to 1,313.

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