Hong Kong Bans All Ivory Trade

Hong Kong Bans All Ivory Trade

Hong Kong government voted to shut down ivory trade in the city. The ban will go into effect by 2021, according to MNN.

Ivory from animal tusks – mostly those of elephants – has been traded in Hong Kong for more than 150 years, according to BBC. Without elephants there will be major habitat changes, with negative effects on the many species that depend on the lost habitat.

The international ivory trade is worth about $19 billion and has also lead to about 30,000 elephant slaughtered each year.

The three-stage phase-out will culminate in all commercial sales of elephant tusks being outlawed by 2021. The maximum penalty for the smuggling and illegal trading of endangered species was also increased to 10 years imprisonment from two years, according to South China Morning Post.

Some of the uses for Ivory (elephant tusks) are horns, statues, etc.

Today is a great day for elephants. Hong Kong has always been the ‘heart of darkness’ of the ivory trade with a 670-ton stockpile when international trade was banned in 1989, according to MNN.

But for the 370 licensed wholesalers and 100 craftsmen who still hold ivory stocks, a ban without compensation has been described as somewhat akin to theft.

With three years left till the blanket ban is complete and the mainland retail market closed, environmentalists have called on the government to step up enforcement in Hong Kong, according to South China Morning Post.

To begin the ban and prove it was real, the government has posted numerous pictures of burning ivory.