China, the world’s largest ivory market, has decided to put an end to it

“In order to better protect elephants and better combat trafficking, our country will gradually stop the sale and commercial processing of ivory and ivory objects”, by the end of 2017, said the State Council of the Communist Government.

A historic decision has just been made for the fight against the ivory trade. A strong and encouraging sign for the safeguarding of elephants, threatened with extinction because hunted for their defenses.

The law that promulgates the prohibition to sell or buy ivory must come into force in March 2017. And when we know that the country with 1.357 billion inhabitants is home to 70% of global trade in this material , there is something to be positive. By showing the example in this way, NGOs specializing in the protection of endangered species hope that China will give ideas or even put pressure on other countries that still practice this trade.

” That’s very good news. The largest ivory market in the world will close. This is a turning point for African elephants. We call on all other nations that still allow this trade to follow China, “said Aili King, director of Wildlife Conservation Society Asia.

Lo Sze Ping, WWF’s chief in China, adds: “Stopping this trade in this country will change the mentality around the purchase of ivory. It will also make the illegal trafficking of poachers much more complicated, they will have a harder time reselling their merchandise. “

For those who still wonder why elephant hunting is so popular, remember that the kilo of ivory is trading at more than 1,000 euros, enough to give ideas … Especially when you know that the average weight of the tusks of an animal is 100 kilos. The calculation is simple: only one killed animal can earn up to 100,000 euros!

It is indisputable that China is the leader in ivory trafficking and can be considered the main cause of the disappearance of rhinos and savannah elephants. On the other hand, as far as the trafficking of endangered species is concerned, this country is far from being the worst student. For example, the research findings of the 2008 report, Death in Canada: A Survey of Illegal Wildlife Trade in the Web, challenges many of the prejudices:

La Cine is the world’s largest ivory market

The lure of gain has led unscrupulous people to kill the world’s largest land animal en masse. Thus, in the last 10 years alone, the elephant population has dropped dramatically. Since 2006, scientists claim that more than 95,000 specimens are dead.

However, the good news is that some countries, like the United Kingdom, have decided to continue to allow the sale and purchase of ivory if it concerns objects manufactured before 1947. Idem in China, where the authorities have indicated that in this case, the transactions would be framed in an extremely strict manner.

Recently, Prince William, as an anti-ivory activist for years, has accused governments of being particularly ambiguous about their intentions in this area. In particular, he asked for more firmness and strong and assumed decisions. All this reminds us how long the road is before the elephants can be considered a species out of danger, but it is undeniable, the situation is moving in the right direction!

After a peak in 2011 with more than 30,000 dead elephants, Cites estimates that poaching killed 10,000 elephants in Africa in 2015. Only about 415,000 elephants still survive today, compared to three to five million in the early twentieth century. For the defenders of African elephants, the Chinese decision can really “change the game”.

The US, the second largest consumer of illegal ivory after China, announced in 2016 an almost total ban on trade in ivory from African elephants, with exceptions such as antiques. China will also continue to allow auctions of ivory antiquities duly identified and sourced from “legitimate sources” under “close supervision,” the Chinese government reported on Friday.

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