China imposes ivory import ban to evaluate its effects over 1 year

Updated: 2015-02-27 07:33

By Su Zhou(China Daily)

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China imposes ivory import ban to evaluate its effects over 1 year

Officers from the State Forestry Administration and the General Administration of Customs destroy 6.1 tons of illegal ivory items in Dongguan, Guangdong province, in January last year. It was the first time China destroyed confiscated elephant ivory. [Photo/Xinhua]

China will impose a one-year ban on the importation of carved ivory items acquired after July 1, 1975.

The ban, which took effect on Thursday, was announced by the State Forestry Administration, China's wildlife watchdog.

It only affects ivory acquired after the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora came into force.

"This action shows China's commitment to curbing the illegal ivory trade and to protecting African elephants," said Meng Xianlin, executive director-general of the Endangered Species Import and Export Management Office of China. "The one-year term will also provide time for us to observe and evaluate the actual effect of this act on the elephants."

"We also hope more policies will be introduced by more countries, especially African ones, that include habitat protection, law enforcement and ivory market management," Meng said.

Meng pointed to four sources of legal ivory - international legal ivory stockpile auctions, ivory acquired before 1975, ivory obtained through legal trophy hunting, and legal ivory-carved items obtained after 1975, mainly from Zimbabwe and Namibia.

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