China to ban ivory trade by end of 2017

China to ban ivory trade by end of 2017

Dealing a critical blow to the illegal practice of elephant poaching, Chinese authorities have decided to ban all trade in ivory or any products made of ivory by the end of 2017.

Currently, China is the world’s biggest ivory market, and the decision to ban ivory trade has been taken by authorities after years of intensifying international as well as domestic pressure from wildlife protection advocates.

Carter Roberts, the president of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), welcomed the decision, calling a “game changer” for conserving the largest land animal on Earth.

Commenting on China’s decision, Roberts said, “China’s announcement is a game changer for elephant conservation. With the United States also ending its domestic ivory trade earlier this year, two of the largest ivory markets have taken action that will reverberate around the world.”

Elly Pepper, a wildlife protection advocate with the N.Y.-based Natural Resources Defense Council, said China’s decision might be the biggest sign of hope for saving elephants since the poaching crisis started.

As per some fresh estimates, poachers have killed more than 100,000 elephants in Africa over the past decade in a ruthless scramble for ivory driven by soaring demand in Chinese market.