Last December, China pledged to shut down all of its state-funded ivory carving factories by the end of March this year, and said they would cease all of its ivory trading by the end of 2017.
China's announcement was greeted with delight by no less than 31 African states, who are watching their elephant populations being decimated. It is estimated that elephants are currently being slaughtered by poachers at a rate of one every fifteen minutes. If something isn't done soon, elephants will soon become extinct. There is a human cost too, as there is a close link between ivory poaching and organised crime.
Many were skeptical about China's announcement last December, given the country's bad reputation for animal welfare. It is also the world's biggest ivory market. However, it has been confirmed that as promised, China's ivory carving factories were shut down last Friday, which gives the world hope that China will stick to the promise to cease all ivory trading by the end of 2017.
Network for Animals position on ivory trading is clear. Campaign Director, David Barritt explains:
“We are absolutely opposed to any legal trade in ivory. There is overwhelming evidence that any trade in elephant ivory results in increased illegal trade. We fully support the pledge by the ruling British Conservative Party that it will end the legal trade in ivory in the United Kingdom and look forward to the day when the present government honours that pledge. Any ivory trade threatens the continued existence of elephants in the wild.”
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