China to ban ivory trade by end of 2017

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Source: Hindustan times

  1. China will ban all domestic ivory trade and processing by the end of 2017, state media reported Friday, in a move hailed by activists as a “game changer” for African elephants.
  2. African ivory is highly sought after in China where it is seen as a status symbol and prices for a kilo can reach as much as $1,100.
  3. Xinhua said the complete ban would affect “34 processing enterprises and 143 designated trading venues, with dozens to be closed by the end of March 2017”.
  4. Conservationists estimate that more than 20,000 elephants were killed for their ivory last year, with similar tolls in previous years. The WWF campaign group says 415,000 of the animals remain.
  5. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which took effect in 1975, banned the ivory trade in 1989.
  6. Like other countries, China permits the resale of ivory bought before the 1989 ban — and also has a stockpile purchased with CITES approval in 2008, which it releases for sale with certification.
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