UK proposes ivory sales ban to save elephants
USA TODAY LONDON The British government has proposed to ban the sale of nearly all ivory in a bid to protect elephants from poaching.
The United Kingdom is the world’s biggest exporter of legal ivory and the biggest exporter of legal ivory to Hong Kong and China — two of the largest markets — according to the Environmental Investigation Agency, a London-based nongovernmental organization.
Britain is currently allowed to sell ivory that was carved before 1947 or items carved before 1990 that have government certificates. The proposals, which are subject to a threemonth consultation, cover ivory of all ages, the government said.
“The decline in the elephant population fueled by poaching for ivory shames our generation,” Environment Minister Michael Gove said. “The need for radical and robust action to protect one of the world’s most iconic and treasured species is beyond dispute.”
African elephants have declined by 111,000 in the past decade, largely because of poaching, the World Wildlife Federation says.