Mes­sage must be de­liv­ered that ivory is banned

China Daily (USA) - - COMMENT -

CHINA COM­PLETELY BANNED the pro­cess­ing and sell­ing of ivory and ivory prod­ucts on Jan 1, 2018. Yet sales of ivory prod­ucts have not been to­tally elim­i­nated one whole year af­ter the ban. Bei­jing News com­ments:

In Novem­ber, the cus­toms in Shen­zhen, South China’s Guang­dong province, seized 10 pieces of ivory, which weighed 323.7 kilo­grams in to­tal. The long­est of the pieces was 1.9 me­ters in length, which is the long­est piece among all the ivory seized by the cus­toms in Shen­zhen.

In the past year, the rel­e­vant de­part­ments have in­creased the in­ten­sity of in­spec­tions on ivory smug­gling and sales. How­ever, that does not mean that the smug­gling and trafficking of ivory prod­ucts has dis­ap­peared. Many smug­gling ac­tiv­i­ties are rel­a­tively more sub­tle.

Un­like in the past, this time the sus­pects used an ex­press de­liv­ery com­pany to try and smug­gle in the ivory, in­stead of bring­ing the il­le­gal prod­ucts into China with them. Ac­cord­ing to re­ports, many ivory smug­glers now choose ex­press de­liv­ery ser­vices as a way of trans­port­ing their il­le­gal prod­ucts.

That phe­nom­e­non emerged at least five years ago. In 2013, there were al­ready re­ports about smug­glers do­ing their il­le­gal busi­nesses on­line and ship­ping them via de­liv­ery com­pa­nies. In 2015, a sus­pect was even re­ported to have tried to find a job with a de­liv­ery com­pany in or­der to con­ve­niently smug­gle in ivory and ivory prod­ucts.

All clues lead to one con­clu­sion, namely that ex­press de­liv­ery has al­ready be­come a way to smug­gle ivory. Or, worse than that, it has be­come a new, con­ve­nient tool for the smug­gling of not only ivory, but also other il­le­gal wildlife prod­ucts.

There­fore, in or­der to elim­i­nate ivory smug­gling, it is ne­c­es­sary to more strictly reg­u­late the de­liv­ery com­pa­nies and make sure they abide by the law. The law has long clearly pro­hib­ited the de­liv­ery of cer­tain wildlife prod­ucts such as ivory and tiger bones, but in real­ity it is the ex­press de­liv­ery com­pa­nies that are in charge of check­ing the pack­ages to make sure they do not con­tain il­le­gal prod­ucts. And some sus­pects have re­port­edly said that they just paid the ex­press de­liv­ery com­pa­nies some tip money to have the pack­ages passed.

It is time to strengthen the en­force­ment of the law and elim­i­nate the chan­nel for ivory smug­glers.

LI MIN / CHINA DAILY

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