African elephant ivory has entered the Thai Asian elephant ivory market.  Delaware Senator Karen Peterson and Representative Sean Lynn introduced Senate Bill 156, which would « prohibit any person from buying, selling, offering for sale, possessing or importing ivory or rhino horn with the intent to sell ivory or rhino horn. unless otherwise specified, and would make such prohibition enforceable by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. » On June 24, 2015, the bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Banking, the Economy and the Economy. Learn more about SB156. One. The recently enacted U.S. ivory ban applies to the commercial import, export, and interstate (cross-border sales) of ivory products. State ivory bans focus primarily on domestic transactions (intra-state sales) and complement the U.S. ban with stricter local laws. If state prohibitions include importation or interstate, the U.S. ban prevails. The U.S.
ban does not affect the majority of state prohibitions that apply to intra-state sales. WWF and its partners managed to push international action to the highest level, which, along with diplomatic and public pressure from all sides, contributed to China`s revolutionary ban. We are now working to ensure that the ban succeeds by eliminating the remaining consumer demand for elephant ivory and black market sales. An expansion of trade and demand for illegal elephant ivory outside of China could seriously undermine the effectiveness of China`s ban. Solutions to the problem of poaching and illegal trade have focused on attempting to control international ivory trafficking through CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora). Promisingly, a historic opportunity has presented itself to end the African elephant poaching crisis: governments have launched concerted action to combat this wildlife crime. The US introduced a near-total ban on trade in elephant ivory in 2016, and the UK, Singapore, Hong Kong and other elephant ivory markets have followed suit. More importantly, China took the remarkable step of closing its legal domestic ivory market at the end of 2017. Other Asian countries where the elephant ivory trade is open are under considerable pressure to act. One. The U.S.
ivory ban includes an exemption for small (de minimis) amounts of legally imported ivory that could allow the sale of certain musical instruments. New York, California, Washington, and Hawaii grant exemptions for musical instruments containing less than 20% ivory by volume, provided they have historical records showing that the item was manufactured no later than 1975. Tanzania, trying to dismantle ivory syndicates that it realized were corrupting its society, proposed a Schedule One listing for the African elephant (an effective ban on international trade). Some South African countries, including South Africa and Zimbabwe, vehemently opposed it. They claimed that their elephant populations were well managed and that they wanted revenue from ivory sales to fund conservation. Although both countries had been involved in illegal ivory from other African countries as warehouses, WWF was in a difficult position with close ties with both countries. It is well documented that she publicly opposed trade, but privately tried to appease these South African states.   However, the so-called Somalia proposal, presented by the Government Delegation of the Republic of Somalia, of which nature conservation specialist Professor Julian Bauer was an official member, later broke the deadlock and the moratorium on elephants with the ban on trade in elephant ivory was adopted by CITES delegates. WWF works directly with these countries to support the closure of their elephant ivory markets and use international political and diplomatic channels.
By now tackling these markets in a pan-Asian approach, WWF wants to use China`s measures to ban the trade in elephant ivory to prevent the relocation of ivory trade from mainland China to neighbouring countries. In 2014, we shared the release of the president`s new National Wildlife Trade Strategy, which outlined how the government would crack down on poachers and other criminals who have brought hundreds of species to the brink of collapse. While the strategy was a step in the right direction, we still have work to do to make buying and selling ivory truly illegal. Forty-nine tonnes of ivory were registered in these three countries, and Japan`s claim that it had sufficient controls was accepted by CITES, and the ivory was sold to Japanese traders on an experimental basis in 1997.  We cover ourselves a bit with the word « prohibition » because there is still some leeway for certain types of ivory, but the overall effect – if enshrined in law – will be as close as possible to a general ban. Keep in mind that it will take hard work to ensure that these rules remain as strict as the president has proposed until they become final, but here`s what you need to know: With a possible extinction crisis of African elephants in the next two decades (according to the African Elephant Summit in Kasane in April 2015, Botswana), in 2013 and 2014, the United States and other countries strengthened their laws and regulations to combat the increase in ivory trade, including the trade in ivory and artifacts. Contrary to CITES recommendations that prices could be depressed and those that supported the sale of stocks in 2008, the price of ivory in China has risen sharply. Some believe this may be due to deliberate price-fixing by those who bought the stock, reflecting the Japan Wildlife Conservation Society`s warnings about price-fixing after being sold to Japan in 1997 and the monopoly on traders buying shares from Burundi and Singapore in the 1980s.
   This could also be due to the explosion in the number of Chinese who can buy luxury goods.  A study funded by Save the Elephants showed that the price of ivory in China tripled in four years starting in 2011, as ivory destruction became more popular. The same study concluded that this led to an increase in poaching.  However, southern Africans have always been a minority within African elephant dispersal states. [ref. To reiterate this point, 19 African countries signed the « Accra Declaration » in 2006, calling for a complete ban on ivory trade, and 20 range states attended a meeting in Kenya calling for a 20-year moratorium on 2007.  A. The new U.S. ivory ban will legally end most of the U.S. ivory trade to protect elephants.
It essentially prohibits all commercial, export, and interstate import and trade of African elephant ivory, with a few exceptions. These exemptions include commercial export and interstate trade in items that meet the antiquities exemption criteria of the Endangered Species Act, as well as interstate trade in certain manufactured or handmade items containing a small (minor) amount of legally imported ivory. The final regulations came into force on July 6, 2016. For more information on the U.S. ivory ban, see Final U.S. Ivory Ban or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service`s Q&A. Since only 10% of illegal ivory is seized at our borders, a significant proportion of illegal ivory enters the market, where it becomes almost indistinguishable from older, legal ivory. While the U.S. ban will increase restrictions on imports, exports, and interstate ivory trade, illegal ivory will continue to enter the market until ivory markets within states are closed.
This makes it all the more important that law enforcement agencies be involved at both the state and federal levels. States can take legislative or regulatory measures to prohibit all domestic sales of ivory in order to address this enforcement challenge and stop illicit trade. Japan still imports huge quantities of ivory.  On the second point, suppose you walk into a store and see an ivory product for sale. You ask the shopkeeper when it was made and he assures you that it is old enough. But that won`t be enough with the new rules. It must now have an official document from the US Fish & Wildlife Service to back up this claim. Southern African countries continue to try to sell ivory through legal systems.
In a call to overcome national interests, a group of leading elephant scientists responded in 2002 with an open letter clearly highlighting the impact of the ivory trade on other countries. They explained that the proposals to resume trade from southern Africa could not be compared to most of Africa, as they were based on a South African model where 90% of the elephant population lived in a fenced national park. They went on to describe South Africa`s wealth and its ability to enforce the law within these borders. In comparison, they made it clear that most African elephants live in poorly protected and unfenced bushes or forests. They ended their appeal by describing the poaching crisis of the 1980s, stressing that the decision to ban ivory was not made to punish southern African countries, but to save elephants in the rest of the world.  Every year, at least 20,000 African elephants are illegally killed for their tusks. A resurgence in demand for elephant ivory for decades, particularly in parts of Asia, has fueled this endemic poaching epidemic. The elephant ivory trade not only threatens the survival of this iconic species and has wider ecological consequences, but also endangers the lives and livelihoods of local people and jeopardizes national and regional security. In 1989, international trade in ivory was banned by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).