Steve Shackleford Blog

Today is Deadline to Stop Proposed Ivory Ban

An all-inclusive ivory ban that would target ancient ivory such as mammoth and mastodon in addition to elephant ivory likely will pass without your help by the end of day today, Dec. 27.

Draconian ivory ban would oust ancient ivories. (SharpByCoop photo)

A proposed ivory ban would include ancient ivory. Kevin Casey uses ancient walrus ivory on his bowie. (SharpByCoop photo)

A Presidential Advisory Committee that met on Dec. 16 recommends a total ban of ivory within the USA to the task force on Wildlife Trafficking. The ban would apply to the sale of all ivory in any form and include pre-ban and antique ivory in knives, guns, musical instruments, pianos with ivory keys, etc. The ban would affect collectors, makers and anyone who sells within or to the USA. The committee will file its report on Dec. 28, so any entreaties opposing the proposed ban must be e-mailed by no later than today in order to be registered and considered before the report is filed.

The address to send your email to is ACWT@FWS.GOV. Copy and paste the following letter—though feel free to tailor it as you see fit—to an email, and email it to the above address:

Dear Advisory Committee,

I stand against a total ban of all ivory sales in the USA.

As called for in the Presidential Executive Order, I ask that the recommendations continue to allow for “legal and legitimate commerce.”

The ivory market in the USA is stable and/or declining, and seizure records indicate that a high proportion of the seizures were personal effects lacking the correct paperwork, not the so-called blood tusks reported on by the media. The Elephant Trade Information System (ETIS) analysis indicates that the amount of ivory by weight seized annually has not increased in recent years. We are not the consumers of the poached ivory. Therefore, banning ivory sales within the USA will do nothing to save the remaining world population of elephants.

The CITES MIKE (Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants) September 2013 report analysis, page 64, states, “Africa’s elephant populations are managed sustainably,” and that in 2013 the quote for permits for legal elephants was 1,350 animals. There is legal trade that can be monitored with DNA testing and permitting. Enforcing and policing a ban would require funds that should be used to support the ban on imports already in effect.

I fully support CITES rules, closing international borders to elephant ivory trade, a law already in effect that should be fully supported and enforced. I stand against a total ban of all ivory commerce within U.S. borders, a decision that would be an enforcement nightmare. Like Prohibition of the 1920s, it would cause a new wave of illicit commerce where a legitimate one now exists. Museums, antique dealers, collectors, artisans and individual citizens have invested in a legal and valuable material. Sanctioned trade in ivory that is legal (culled and pre-ban) and comes from unthreatened sources (mammoth, boar, warthog, antique and recycled products) can pose no possible threat to elephant herds in the wild.

I believe our mutual goals are the same and a solution can be reached. Please keep the focus where it belongs. To increase the elephant population, the killing must be stopped in Africa and at its borders.

Respectfully submitted,

____________________________ (TYPE YOUR NAME)

 

COMMENT