Thu, Apr 05, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Forestry Bureau planning to ban ivory trade by 2020

INITIATIVE:The revision is in response to calls in the international community to save African elephants, conservation division head Hsia Jung-sheng said

Staff writer, with CNA

The Forestry Bureau on Tuesday announced that it is revising regulations concerning wildlife conservation so that a ban on ivory trade can be put in place in 2020.

The sole exception would apply to people who own ivory and produce documentation showing that the items had been acquired legally, the bureau said in a statement.

The legislature in 1994 passed amendments to the Wildlife Conservation Act (野生動物保育法) prohibiting trade and public display of ivory unless under special circumstances, bureau conservation division head Hsia Jung-sheng (夏榮生) said.

However, as many local art dealers and sealmakers still used ivory and had the material in their stock, the government took transitional measures to allow trade in declared ivory with the permission of the supervisory authorities, Hsia said.

Since then, the demand for ivory has greatly decreased and the idea of wildlife conservation has become more widespread in the nation, Hsia added.

After assessing the current situation, the bureau decided to impose a complete ban on ivory trade, Hsia said.

The revision is being made in response to calls in the international community to save African elephants.

A UN report in 2016 said that the number of African elephants living in the wild dropped by about 20 percent from 508,000 in 2006 to 415,000 in 2016, Hsia said.

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