Jan 132018

It’s estimated that 96 elephants are killed each day by poachers for nothing more than their tusks. But conservationists are starting the new year with renewed hope for the future of elephants following the official closure of China’s legal trade in ivory.

The number of elephants who are senselessly killed is astounding, but that doesn’tcover the heartbreaking losses these social animals suffer when their family members die, or the impact their continued disappearance will have on ecosystems.

With the exception of two government sales held in 1999 and 2008, the international trade in ivory has been banned since 1989, but the growing demand from Asian countries has led to dangerously high levels of poaching that continue to threaten elephant populations. Some also believe the two sales held have contributed to the problem by creating confusion among consumers, and allowing criminals to sneak illegal ivory into the market.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

While international efforts are underway to tackle the problem, many conservationists continue to argue that the only chance elephants have now is the closure of all markets for ivory. It’s an idea that was upheld last October at the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, where experts recommended the closure of domestic ivory markets that are “contributing to poaching or illegal trade.”

Following a landmark announcement agreeing to near-total bans on ivory made by Chinese President Xi Jinping and former U.S. President Barack Obama in 2015, the legal trade of ivory in China officially ended on December 31.

With one of the largest markets for ivory in the world, the closure of the country’s ivory carving factories and retailers is expected to have a major positive impact for elephants.

“Decades from now, we may point back to this as one of the most important days in the history of elephant conservation. China has followed through on a great promise it made to the world, offering hope for the future of elephants,” said Ginette Hemley, senior vice president of the World Wildlife Fund.

Now, China will be working to implement the ban, and increase public awareness about it. While the implementation of the ban is being widely celebrated, conservationists are continuing to encourage other nations to take a similar step to protect elephants.

“The closure of China’s ivory market is a historic milestone in the effort to save elephants. When China, the world’s largest ivory market and a country that once designated ivory carving as an intangible cultural tradition, resoundingly rejects the ivory trade, other countries have no excuse for dragging their feet on banning this pernicious trade. That said, China alone cannot solve the poaching and ivory trafficking epidemic that is putting elephant populations in danger. Remaining countries with significant ivory markets, such as the UK, EU and Japan, should take similar actions so that their markets do not provide a cover for illicit ivory and perpetuate demand for ivory,” said Iris Ho, wildlife program manager of Humane Society International.

Hopefully growing awareness about this violent trade and its impact on elephants will help increase public pressure on countries with ivory markets to help close them down for good.

This article was first published by Care2.com on 04 Jan 2018.


Subscribe to our FREE Newsletter


Share this post with your friends

Facebook Comments

Leave a Reply



Marilyn Ashman

Now we all have to Fight the “ELEPHANT SKIN TRADE!!” It’s as if we have to applaud this new move in China, but now we worry about their new AGENDA!!. GRRRR!!!!!

May Lennox-Milton

How long before it actually makes a difference,easy to say but with all things making laws and making sure they are enforced are two entirely different things,
Sometimes the governments pass laws just to shut us up for a while,but business goes on as usual in the background

Top-Viewed Posts Last 30 Days

  1. POLL: Should the UK finally abandon its controversial badger cull? – [2170 Views]
  2. POLL: Should fox hunting legislation be repealed in the UK? – [2168 Views]
  3. POLL: Should the trophy hunting of Grizzly Bears be banned nationwide? – [2013 Views]
  4. Arctic Fox and Snowy Owl Filmed Doing Strange ‘Dance’ – But Why? – [1838 Views]
  5. POLL: Should Japan be sanctioned for slaughtering dolphins and whales? – [1424 Views]
  6. How Sea Shepherd lost battle against Japan’s whale hunters in Antarctic – [1267 Views]
  7. POLL: Should We Revive Extinct Species? – [1117 Views]
  8. POLL: Should the Cheetah be classified as “Endangered”? – [1113 Views]
  9. POLL: Should Lolita the Lonely Orca be Freed? – [1054 Views]
  10. It’s a Miracle! Wisdom Lays an Egg at Age 67 – [1038 Views]

Top-Viewed Posts Last 12 Months

  1. POLL: Should hunting with hounds be banned? – [7733 Views]
  2. Gray Squirrels versus Red Squirrels – The Facts [4787 Views]
  3. POLL: Should there be a worldwide ban on fur farming? – [4251 Views]
  4. POLL: Should the trophy hunting of bears and wolves be banned? – [4057 Views]
  5. POLL: Should foxes be culled to protect domestic pets? [3799 Views]
  6. POLL: Should Japan be sanctioned for slaughtering dolphins and whales? – [3285 Views]
  7. POLL: Should the slaughter of badgers in the UK be finally stopped? – [3077 Views]
  8. POLL: Should the cruel sport of bullfighting be banned? [2873 Views]
  9. POLL: Should Canada ban the hunting of seals? [2667 Views]
  10. POLL: Should the Tories be allowed to bring back fox hunting? [2578 Views]