The Interior Department’s Fish and Wildlife Service announced last week that it will be banning all imports and exports (with extremely narrow exceptions) of elephant ivory within the US.
Conservationists are optimistic that the movie will help to curb the illegal poaching of elephants in Africa, as the United States is home to the second largest ivory market in the world.
Sales of ivory across state lines will be strictly prohibited unless the ivory in question can be shown to be at least 100 years old. Sales of ivory within states will be prohibited unless the seller can prove that the ivory was legally imported before 1990 (the year after the US signed the UN’s Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora agreement).
However, the move is only as good as its enforcement. If the US isn’t willing to adequately fund the program and aggressively pursue those who violate it the move will have little real impact.
Read the full story from the New York Times here.