The proposed change to the federal ivory laws proposed 13 months ago is finally out, and the news is as bad as expected. In essence, the change is designed to stop all trade in elephant ivory in the USA, no matter how old the ivory is.
According to the Elephant Protection Association, winner of the BLADE Magazine 2015 Publisher’s Award for its efforts to protect the legal ivory of all Americans, the new regulation is based on three false premises. Those are:
•Elephant poaching in Africa is escalating. This is false. CITES data indicate poaching numbers have fallen since 2011 due to enhanced enforcement of existing law;
•Large amounts of illegal ivory are being imported into the USA and this is driving the elephant poaching problems in Africa. Again, false. The truth is that both CITES and U.S. data indicate illicit ivory imports to the USA are insignificant;
•Since the law punishes Americans and their ivory, the Chinese consumers who are causing the poaching problems will abandon their cultural need for ivory. This is patently absurd. Chinese demand for illicit ivory is independent from U.S. trade in domestic legal ivory.
According to Sandra Brady of the Elephant Protection Association, one thing to remember is that for you to qualify for the small amount of elephant ivory that will be allowed under the new regs, you have to meet ALL the requirements and be able to PROVE it. She added that the association would be sending out letter suggestions to concerned citizens on how to defeat the new regs. The letters should go to Fish and Wildlife Service, your congress people and senators.
For more information on how you can fight this oppressive federal elephant ivory grab, visit elephantprotection.org.