Elephants in the world are currently facing a crisis – ivory trade. Hundreds and thousands of elephants are being hunted for their ivory tusks, which are then traded by criminals in illegal market around the world. Ivory tusks are mainly used for carving as to create precious religious objects and high valued art works.
It is known that ivory trading has long been listed as illegal by different governments and heavy penalties are inflicted on smugglers. In UK, only ivory products that are over 70 years old can be allowed in the market. However, there is a loophole that allows dealer to sell ivory in British domestic market by claiming that the ivory products are antiques over 70 years old.
Countries are currently voting on the shutdown of domestic ivory market in order to safeguard the future of all elephants, which is a decision welcomed by campaigners and conservationists. Prince William, who is a patron of the wildlife charity Tusk will be expected to support the move as well.
Andrew Harmon, the director of communications for WildAid, mentioned that ‘legal’ ivory will only provide cover for the horrific slaughter of elephants. Hence, British government hopes to decrease the slaughter of elephants through implementing a new restriction on the ivory trade. When the new initiative is in place, the loophole will be closed as ivory traders are now expected to provide documentary proof on the age of the ivory products.