US Proposes Tighter Restrictions on Domestic Ivory Trade

posted: 07/27/15
by: Discovery.com Staff
African Elephants Walking in Line

President Obama announced a proposed near-total ban on the domestic ivory trade over the weekend.

Spearheaded by the Fish & Wildlife Service, the ban would prohibit nearly all interstate commerce in ivory, with "specific, limited exceptions for certain pre-existing manufactured items" such as furniture and instruments containing small amounts of ivory. Sales within state lines (intrastate commerce) and noncommercial movement across state lines are not impacted by the proposal.

"If our children - and their grandchildren - are to grow up in a world where they appreciate their natural heritage and can see elephants in the wild and not just in the history books, then we owe it to them to shut down avenues that motivate poachers to go after these iconic animals," remarked U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell.

"As we work to put the brakes on poaching and prevent elephants from going extinct in the wild, we need to take the lead in a global effort to shut down domestic markets for illegal ivory. Today, we are making it harder for criminals by further shutting the door to the American market."

The Federal Register will publish the proposed rule on July 29, 2015, after which FWS will solicit public comments for 60 days before publishing a final rule.

The agency estimates that 100,000 elephants were killed for their ivory between 2010 and 2012 -- one elephant every 15 minutes.

Click here for more information about the FWS proposal

Learn more about elephants:

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Elephant Orphanage

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