Singapore may soon ban ivory sales after a recommendation by the county’s Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA).

The authority is proposing to completely prohibit elephant ivory sales in Singapore under the Endangered Species (Import and Export) Act.

AVA said: “The proposed ban is in line with Singapore’s broader commitment to tackle the illegal elephant ivory trade and support elephant conservation. It also sends a strong signal that Singapore is committed to curb demand for ivory products despite our small and inactive domestic market.”

If the ban is passed, it means individuals and local businesses will no longer be able to sell or buy any form of elephant ivory in Singapore. The public display of such goods will also be prohibited, except for educational purposes, such as at museums or the zoo.

Singapore has banned the commercial export and import of all forms of ivory products for the past 28 years, although the domestic sale of ivory is allowed if strict conditions are met, such as if sellers can prove the items were imported before the ban in 1990.

The AVA said there will be a grace period of up to three years should the ban be passed, by which time ivory owners need to have decided what to do with their stocks, such as donating, destroying or keeping the ivory.

Network for Animal’s campaign director, David Barritt commented, “We sincerely hope that this sensible proposal will be adopted by Singapore. People should remember that every ivory trinket represents a dead elephant.”