China’s decision last month to suspend the import of carved ivory products from Africa could become another strong blow against the slaughter of African elephants for their tusks. In the last three years alone, as many as 100,000 of Africa’s approximately 500,000 remaining elephants have been killed, many by Chinese-financed poachers.
The import suspension was decreed by China’s State Forestry Administration. Its action prohibits the import into China of ivory objects created since 1975, when the UN Convention on International Trade on Endangered Species (CITES) was fully ratified. That Convention bans the culling of African elephants and the taking of rhinoceroses for their horns (which are not ivory).
Although ostensibly only a year-long “temporary” halt to trade in ivory from outside China, it is likely that this is the first move in a re-evaluation of China’s official position on ivory imports. Since China (followed by Vietnam) provides the largest global…
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