USA bans ivory trade & unveils new strategy for combating wildlife trafficking

11 February 2014

The United States has unveiled its ‘National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking’ including a ban on commercial trade in elephant ivory. The announcement came on the first day of London’s International Wildlife Trafficking Symposium, hosted by the Zoological Society of London. 

According to the White House:

The Strategy will strengthen U.S. leadership on addressing the serious and urgent conservation and global security threat posed by illegal trade in wildlife.

The strategy will establish guiding principles for U.S. efforts to stem illegal trade in wildlife. It will determine government-wide efforts to crack down on poaching and trafficking of hundreds of species, including endangered rhinos and elephants. The strategy has three strategic priorities:

  • Toughening domestic and global enforcement
  • Reducing demand for illegally traded wildlife at home and abroad
  • Strengthening partnerships with international partners, local communities, NGOs, private industry, and others to combat illegal wildlife poaching and trade

Over the next few months, the US government will work to stop virtually all commercial trade in elephant ivory and rhino horn within the United States and across its borders.

All commercial imports of African elephant ivory into the United States will be prohibited. Nearly all commercial exports will be also be prohibited, with very few exceptions, such as a small strictly defined class of antiques, with verified documentation of their antiquity.

Click here to read the official press release from the White House, with links to the full strategy.

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