Steve Shackleford Blog

Majority Opposes Ivory Ban At Meeting

Anywhere from 50-to-60 people attended the March 20 public meeting held by the Advisory Council to the Presidential Task Force on combatting wildlife trafficking, with more than twice as many voicing opposition to the ivory ban as those supporting it.

Questions remain on feds ability to tell fossil from elephant ivory and vice versa. (Ward photo)

Over twice as many against the ivory ban as for it voiced concerns at the March 20 meeting. Jim Crowell’s fixed blade sports a fossil ivory handle.  (Ward photo)

Among those representing the knife industry at the meeting held in Washington, D.C., were scrimshander Sandra Brady, knifemaker Edmund Davidson and others.

“There were about 27 people who stood up to make statements and only about eight were in favor of the ban,” Brady noted. “Even though the words ‘ivory ban’ were not used at all by the committee, that is the ONLY thing that was talked about.

“We had statements from three antiques people, cane collectors, scrimshanders, musical instruments, a knifemaker and knife rights people, among others. So what I came away with is that the committee didn’t expect such a [pro-ivory] turnout. I can only imagine how many more statements were submitted via e-mail. We may have turned the tide at least a bit.”

On the other hand, the pro-ivory ban forces continued their full-court press, and there is much to be done to fight a number of punitive measures federal officials are considering, including making all illegal ivory sales felony violations. Committee members also talked about requiring violators to pay restitution and basically treat selling ivory as selling illegal drugs. “It was three hours of the ‘for-the-greater-good’ stuff, so that was the bad news,” one observer stated.

Several initiatives were mentioned by the knife industry group against the ivory ban, including finding a congress person to champion the anti-ivory ban cause and also the possibility of setting up an official fight-the-ban organization.

Craig Hoover of U.S. Fish & Wildlife said he expected someone on the advisory council to post more information, perhaps a summary video of the meeting, on its web page at some point. The link to the page is

http://www.fws.gov/international/advisory-council-wildlife-trafficking/

For further developments stay tuned to www.blademag.com.

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