US Imposes Historic Restriction on Ivory Trade

New legislation further protects endangered African elephants by effectively banning the import and export of new ivory.


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The US Fish and Wildlife Service released a final ruling today that places a near-ban on the import of African elephant ivory. Effective July 6, the rule prohibits both the import and export of most ivory products in an effort to protect endangered African elephants from a growing illegal ivory poaching market. China—one of the world’s largest importers of ivory—recently agreed to adapt its own legislation modeled after any new US laws regarding ivory trade, and is expected to follow suit during next week’s United States-China Strategic and Economic conference. “Ivory looks best on its original owners,” The Humane Society of the United States President Wayne Pacelle said. “Killing elephants and hacking off their tusks enriches terrorists, robs Africa of one of its great revenue generators, and denies future generations the opportunity to see these iconic creatures.” The ban will halt the movement of all ivory products with the exception of those involved in part of a traveling exhibition, household moves or inheritance, musical instruments, and antiques more than 100 years old or that contain a miniscule amount of ivory.

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