People, Environment

China to Set Date for Closing Ivory Factories

China to Set Date for Closing Ivory FactoriesChina to Set Date for Closing Ivory Factories

China is set to announce when it will close its legal ivory carving factories, 18 months after pledging to act. 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. “The preparation for the domestic ivory trade ban is underway in China,” Zhou Fei, the head of the China program at wildlife trade watchdog Traffic, told the Guardian.  “According to our information, most of the legal ivory vendors are developing alternative business. The ivory price of both legal and illegal ivory products has dropped.” Legal ivory carvers in China use tusks imported during one-off and sanctioned sales from Africa. 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.


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