There is more than just the alligator by-products chain at risk: the continuity of bio-medical research based on the animal is at risk, and the specie’s conservation program is fighting for survival as well. California is close to placing a ban on the commerce of alligator leather and other parts, and many of the players active inside the chain are actively fighting against this decision.
A legislative matter
The first date to be put on the calendar should be the coming March 26th. The state of California will have a debate on the proposed bill by Republican Randy Voepel: his bill demands that the state’s government decides to cancel the ban (on which Sacramento has already passed a law, but it has suspended its application), and completely remove crocodile and alligator by-products from the list of banned items from commerce on which the products are on. American Tanning tannery has launched an online petition to collect signatures to support Voepel’s proposal. At the same, Louisiana Alligator Advisory Council has launched a contest, on social media, which asks the industry’s operator to show how their work is related to the conservation of the specie and its well-being.
If the state of California was to decide to continue on its path, the alligator chain would become outlaw by January 1st, 2020. A hit that would be felt by the fashion industry, explains Voepel, but also the bio-medical research segment along with the pharmaceutical industry, both of which are relying on the segment. The consequences would also be grave for the conservation projects working to keep the specie safe in the United States: the same initiatives, according to IUCN, quoted by Voepel, that allowed the population to go from 100,000 units to over 1.5 million units today in Louisiana alone.