Jun 042017
Why has Theresa May ditched a pledge to ban ivory trading?

Strange news: Theresa May has decided to drop a Tory pledge to push for a total ban on ivory trading (only the sale of ivory items produced after 1947 is prohibited). Why would she do that? Doesn’t she need votes? I thought nearly everyone loved elephants – who votes for helping to wipe them out? […]

Feb 252017
POLL: Should the resale of antique ivory be banned?

The cover of the Lorsch Gospels is one of the most unexpected beauties in any of our museums. This yellowish-white carving comes from the depths of the dark ages, when Europe was supposedly a primitive and barbaric place – yet it is a delicate and subtle artistic masterpiece. It was made in Aachen, Germany, in […]

Jan 112017
POLL: Should the slaughter of Borneo's pygmy elephants be stopped?

Even the planet’s smallest elephants, tucked away on the island of Borneo, are no longer immune to the global poaching crisis for ivory. On New Year’s Eve, wildlife officials in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo, found the bones of a beloved male elephant, nicknamed Sabre for his unusual tusks that slanted downwards like the extinct sabre-toothed tiger’s […]

Jun 262016
POLL: Should Zimbabwe and Namibia be allowed to sell their ivory stockpiles?

A huge legal sale of ivory intended to cut elephant poaching instead catastrophically backfired by dramatically increasing elephant deaths, according to new research. The revelation comes just months before a decision on whether to permit another legal sale and against a backdrop of more African elephants being killed for ivory than are being born. In […]

May 022016
POLL: Should all ivory stockpiles be destroyed?

We are often told that wildlife conservation should make economic sense, and so it should. In my previous article I outlined some of the economic arguments in favour of burning ivory stockpiles. Wildlife conservation should make moral sense as well. Winning the moral argument is probably even important than good economics for saving elephants and […]

Jan 222016
POLL: Should the ivory trade in South Africa be legalized?

This week, representatives from countries around the world are gathered in Geneva to discuss the wildlife trade. The agenda ranges from rhinos to totoabas, but one of the hottest topics is ivory: Some 30,000 elephants are slaughtered for their tusks each year. One thing that came up at the 66th meeting of the Standing Committee […]

Dec 202015
Will 2016 Be a Breakthrough in the Fight to Save Elephants?

Just outside Arusha High Court in northern Tanzania one morning in November, the five men waited for the magistrate to call their names. All had been charged with killing elephants. This was the fourth preliminary hearing for a suspected head poacher and his accomplices since their arraignment more than a year ago. The younger ones […]

Dec 162015
POLL: Should Japan be sanctioned for fueling the slaughter of elephants?

Before Chinese demand for ivory began driving the black market and illegal killing of tens of thousands of elephants each year, it was Japan’s market for hanko, personal seals used to sign contracts, that fueled the ivory trade. For at least a thousand years, they’ve been made in Japan out of a variety of materials. […]

Nov 302015
POLL: Could a referendum to ban ivory sales be a model for other countries?

Voters in Washington state sent a strong message to the world on November 3 when they passed the country’s first ever comprehensive state ban on commerce in endangered animal species. The Washington Animal Trafficking Initiative 1401 (I-1401) prohibits the purchase, sale, and distribution of ten endangered species groups and their parts. It includes not only […]

Nov 222015
POLL: What should China do with its ivory stockpile?

After years of defending and supporting a legal domestic trade in ivory, China made a big announcement in September: It’s shutting down the trade. The United States is, too. Together, the presidents of both countries have made an unprecedented public pledge to put a stop to all ivory trading—legal and illegal. The U.S. is on […]

Feb 042014
Hong Kong Announces World's Biggest Ivory Burn

Twenty-eight tons of Hong Kong’s elephant ivory will soon go up in flames—the largest stockpile ever burned, the semi-autonomous Chinese region announced Thursday. The decision makes Hong Kong the latest government to destroy its ivory, following recent burns by the United States and the Philippines. In June 2013, the Philippines destroyed five tons of seized […]

Jan 072014
China crushes six tons of ivory

China has destroyed several tons of confiscated ivory tusks and carvings, just months after the US crushed six tons of seized ivory. Officials in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, pulverised 6.1 tons of confiscated tusks and carvings in an event on Monday attended by representatives from 10 countries including the UK, and elephant states including Kenya, Gabon, […]

Jan 052014
China to destroy ivory stockpile

The Chinese government plans to destroy a stockpile of contraband elephant ivory and other seized wildlife products next week during a public ceremony in Guangzhou, reports the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). The volume of ivory to be destroyed wasn’t immediately clear. The ivory destruction will take place January 6, less than two months after the […]