UK pro­poses ivory sales ban to save ele­phants

The Commercial Appeal - - Front Page -

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.

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