- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 5, 2014

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - It will soon be illegal to trade ivory or rhinoceros horns in New Jersey.

Gov. Chris Christie signed a bill Tuesday that outlaws importing, buying or selling the animal parts.

Christie and the bill’s sponsors say the crackdown in New Jersey will protect wildlife around the world by reducing demand for products that come from the slaughter of elephants and rhinoceroses.

First offenses would be punishable by fines of $1,000. The fine for second offenses would be $5,000 or twice the value of the product, whichever is greater.

And when offenders are convicted, the items would be destroyed or donated to educational institutions.

The ban takes effect in February.

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