China to Implement “Total Ban” on Sale of Ivory
This Sunday, the buying and selling of ivory in China will officially be illegal. The ban comes a year after the State Council, China’s cabinet, announced that the shutdown of the ivory market–including all processing and sales, would occur in phases throughout 2017.
According to Quartz, China is the “world’s largest importer of ivory whose trade is responsible for the deaths of as many as 30,000 elephants in Africa a year.”
Peter Knights, CEO of conservation group WildAid, states of this victory:
“We can start 2018 hopeful that elephants will be safer now that China has banned commercial ivory sales. Prices are down and law enforcement efforts in many parts of Africa and Asia are much improved.”
While the ban does not apply to Hong Kong, Quartz notes that the “special administrative region is expected to vote on a potential ban in 2018.”
Fred Kwame Kumah, director of WWF’s regional office for Africa, adds that his move will allow us to get “a step closer to a world where the demand for ivory is extinct, not the elephants.”