Kenya hails ivory ban by China

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD -

China’s lat­est ban on the pro­cess­ing and sale of ivory prod­ucts marked a his­toric mile­stone in ef­forts to save African ele­phants from poach­ing, Kenyan wildlife of­fi­cials have said. Richard Leakey, chair­man of the Kenya Wildlife Service, hailed the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion, say­ing it would re­vi­talise global ac­tion on il­le­gal trade in tro­phies. “I was pleased to learn about China’s ac­tion that will sound a death knell to ivory trade. I hope other na­tions will fol­low China’s ex­am­ple,” Leakey said.

The Chi­nese gov­ern­ment, on De­cem­ber 30, an­nounced it would phase out pro­cess­ing and sale of ivory by the end of this year. Bei­jing had pre­vi­ously im­posed a three-year ban on ivory im­ports in a bid to strengthen the global war against il­le­gal trade in crit­i­cal wildlife species.

Leakey said China’s landmark ban on trade in ivory prod­ucts had in­spired the in­ter­na­tional community at a time ef­forts had gath­ered steam to halt loss of African ele­phants due to poach­ing and cli­matic stresses.

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