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Saturday, July 1, 2017

Hong Kong launches bill to ban domestic ivory trade

Hong Kong launches bill to ban domestic ivory trade

Hong Kong has launched a landmark bill to ban its domestic ivory trade, amid accusations that authorities were lagging behind China in phasing out the market.

Hong Kong is home to the world’s biggest retail ivory market, with more items for sale than anywhere else in the world. The majority of buyers are mainland Chinese, who smuggle the worked ivory across the border. Hong Kong is also perpetuating the illegal market: more than a third of licensed ivory dealers have been found to advise buyers on ways to smuggle ivory out of the city, according to a recent report by Traffic.

The bill would ban the import and export of worked and raw ivory by 2021, including banning the possession and sale of all ivory obtained before 1990.

The move follows the ban of mainland China’s domestic ivory trade, seen by many as a critical step in the global battle against poaching. Asian demand for ivory is widely believed to be behind the sharp rise in elephant poaching over the last decade. Ivory factories in mainland China were officially shut down by 31 March 2017, and the rest of the retail outlets will close by the end of the year.

Full story at

Source: The Guardian

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