JUN 02, 2016 1:23 PM PDT

Obama Administration bans sales of ivory in the US


Selling ivory is now illegal in the United States. A year after the proposal for an almost-complete ban on sales of products containing African elephant ivory, the Obama administration declared the ban final on Thursday. With this commitment, the US takes a big step to aid efforts for elephant conservation and urges other countries around the world to do the same.

However, there are some exceptions: “Preexisting items manufactured with ivory such as musical instruments used in orchestras, furniture and items such as firearms containing fewer than 200 grams are exempt. Antiques at least a century old are also exempt, but owners must prove an artifact’s age through a professional appraisal or some other document that can be verified” stated U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe.
Fire burns part of an estimated 105 tonnes of ivory and a tonne of rhino horn

This has caused some turmoil within the ivory dealing and collecting world, where an estimated $11.9 billion will be valueless next month when the law goes into effect. According to the International Development Group, up to 30,000 people who own ivory-based antiques will be impacted. Ivory adorned walking sticks, ivory-tipped cutlery, art, and instruments are all included within the rule. “The result of this is the antique ivory business has all but ceased in this country,” said Anton Bruehl, a collector and researcher who conducted the survey for the International Development Group last year. “I cannot sell it in this country. I don’t even know if I can donate it to this institution.”

However, in the eyes of conservation, this rule is long overdue. Similar laws have already been enacted years ago to cut down on the demand for rhino horn and sea turtle shell, which along with elephant ivory compost some of the most heated wildlife poaching crime in the world. Rhino horn can go for $5,000 and ivory can get up to $1,500 per pound. The demand was met by poachers who slaughtered an estimated 100,000 elephants in three years. Furthermore, it is known that such wildlife trafficking finances terrorist groups throughout the world and threatens many millions of human lives as well as elephants.

The rule has garnered many responses from the public - 1.3 million in fact, which is the second highest number of responses ever! Ashe said the the FWS is proud to say that 98% of the comments received were in favor of the ban.  
Sources: The Washington Post

 
About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
JUL 23, 2021
Earth & The Environment
RNA Alterations Boost Potato and Rice Crop Yields by 50%
JUL 23, 2021
RNA Alterations Boost Potato and Rice Crop Yields by 50%
Manipulating RNA could increase rice and potato crop yields by over 50%, according to a group of researchers from the Un ...
AUG 22, 2021
Microbiology
Morbillivirus in Fraser's Dolphins May Infect Other Marine Mammals
AUG 22, 2021
Morbillivirus in Fraser's Dolphins May Infect Other Marine Mammals
Scientists are concerned about a virus they've recently identified in Fraser's dolphins. Though the disease has already ...
AUG 31, 2021
Microbiology
How Cow Stomachs Might Help Us Reduce Plastic Waste
AUG 31, 2021
How Cow Stomachs Might Help Us Reduce Plastic Waste
Plastic is a long-lasting material that has many uses, which has led to a proliferation of plastic packaging that is pol ...
SEP 07, 2021
Plants & Animals
All dogs may be descended from the same 23,000-year-old Siberian ancestor
SEP 07, 2021
All dogs may be descended from the same 23,000-year-old Siberian ancestor
New research suggests that all modern dogs are descended from the same 23,000-year-old Siberian ancestor
SEP 24, 2021
Earth & The Environment
We've Killed Half the World's Coral
SEP 24, 2021
We've Killed Half the World's Coral
A recent study published in One Earth on Sep. 17 paints a poor picture for the state of the world’s coral reefs. L ...
OCT 05, 2021
Chemistry & Physics
Researchers Propose Pathway to Plastics Free of Carbon Emissions
OCT 05, 2021
Researchers Propose Pathway to Plastics Free of Carbon Emissions
Plastics may, in general, be a product of fossil fuels like petroleum, but that has not stopped an international team of ...
Loading Comments...