Thursday 15 December 2016

China will soon announce when it is closing its legal ivory markets

China is set to announce when it will close its legal ivory carving factories. Last year, the world’s largest market for both legal and illegal ivory said it would shut down commercial sales within the country. But did not set a timeline.

At the time, conservationists described the announcement as the “single greatest measure” in the fight to save elephants from poaching. Wildlife advocates have since urged Beijing to get on with the job.

Advocates for the total ban believe it will discourage local demand for black market ivory and shut off smugglers’ attempts to launder poached tusks into legal markets.

“I think the Chinese government is serious about shutting down the domestic market in ivory in China,” Wildlife Conservation Society ivory trade policy analyst Simon Hedges said last week.

“Our government is serious upon any promise made to the world,” said Wei Ji, a wildlife researcher who does consulting work for China’s largest environmental NGO.

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