BOSTON (CBS/AP) — The state Senate is taking up a bill that would largely prohibit the sale or possession of elephant ivory or rhinoceros horn in Massachusetts.

The measure approved earlier this year by the Legislature’s Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Committee is intended to crack down on trafficking of ivory and rhino horn items, with limited exemptions like ivory attached to a musical instrument or an antique.

In 2014, WBZ-TV’s I-Team reported that Boston was a top destination for illegal ivory.

Debate on the bill is expected on Wednesday.

Wildlife activists who have been pushing for passage say poaching has decimated the African elephant and black rhino populations, leaving the species in danger of extinction.

The bill sets fines of up to $4,000 and six months in jail for a first offense, increasing to a maximum 2 ½ years behind bars for a third offense.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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