Steve Shackleford Blog

Fossil Ivory: Banned Along With Ivory?

Fossil ivory under attack on the federal and state level.

Fossil ivory could be banned with elephant ivory if federal and state governments are not stopped. Don Hanson uses fossil ivory on his folder.

Fossil ivory may well be on the way to being banned with elephant ivory if federal and state governments are not checked.

At least that’s the opinion of one informed source who wishes to remain unnamed, blademag.com has learned.

Fossil ivory could be banned with elephant ivory.

Ivory from the long-extinct mammoth and mastodon may be banned along with elephant ivory simply because many inspectors won’t be able to differentiate between elephant and ancient ivory.

As reported in blademag.com on July 29, proposed changes to the federal ivory laws are finally out and are designed to stop all trade in elephant ivory in the USA, no matter how old the ivory is. The proposed laws do not mention fossil or ancient ivory such as that of the long-extinct mammoth and mastodon. However, the concern is that the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) officials who would be charged with inspecting elephant ivory to determine its legality would have no problem with fossil ivory IF they can differentiate it from elephant ivory.

“The way I see it,” the source stated, whether the inspectors can differentiate between elephant and fossil ivory “will depend on [the inspectors’] training, or lack thereof, and level of enthusiasm.”

Meanwhile, it is the state legislatures that the source is most worried about.

The sale of mammoth ivory tusks and teeth has already been banned in New York (http://open.nysenate.gov/legislation/bill/S7040-2013) and New Jersey (http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2014/Bills/A3500/3128_I1.HTM). It has been reported on blademag.com that at least two other states—Florida and Illinois—ban the sale of mammoth ivory and/or make no exemptions for the sale of the ancient material. Other states are considering mammoth ivory bans as well.

“In all the states that have had [ivory] bills introduced, mammoth, fossil walrus and all forms of ivory are included [because, the state legislators say] ‘it’s so hard to tell the difference,'” the source noted. “Now, we’ve defeated almost every applicable bill that’s been introduced so far, but these guys are not going to roll over and play dead.”

For more information on how to protect your right to own and sell mammoth and other fossil ivories, and how to defeat the proposed changes to federal ivory laws that are designed to stop all U.S. trade in elephant ivory, visit elephantprotection.org.

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