It doesn’t matter if it is 2016 or 2017 — as long as there are humans on the planet, killing in the name of religion or any bloody reason will continue to happen. As that famous movie title goes – ‘There Will Be Blood’. Thankfully, a major decision by taken by a very powerful nation is going to help save the elephants, at least.
China has now declared a ban on ivory – a first in the country where ivory and bones of animals such as rhinoceros are used as material for local medicinal products.
The big pachyderms of Africa are one of the world’s most hunted species for their ivory. And ivory trade is huge because of massive demand in China.
Officials say that the ban will be applied in a phased manner but will be fully in effect by the end of 2017. The first step that is being taken by China is a shutdown of legal ivory traders and factories operating in the country.
In any case, this single decision by China is being hailed as “a game changer for elephant conservation”.
Carter Roberts, the president and CEO of WWF, said: “The large-scale trade of ivory now faces its twilight years, and the future is brighter for wild elephants. With the US also ending its domestic ivory trade earlier this year, two of the largest ivory markets have taken action that will reverberate around the world.”
According to the Great Elephant Census, there has been a decline of 30 per cent in African savanna elephant populations in 15 of the 18 countries they surveyed.
China’s market is very important for ivory traders because demand in the country was a major cause behind the killing of over 1,00,000 elephants between 2012 and 2014.
Though China had previously taken steps to counter the ivory trade market, this is the first major decision against it. China’s ban will also force Hong Kong, too, to meet its declaration of banning ivory trade by 2021.