Hope for Elephants: China Announces Plan to Phase-Out Commercial Ivory Sales
CHICAGO (May 29, 2015) – Yesterday, Chinese officials announced a new plan to phase-out commercial ivory manufacturing and sales. This action is expected to reduce demand for ivory in China, the world’s largest ivory market, which will help curb the ongoing slaughter of African elephants for their tusks.
Between 2010 and 2012, more than 100,000 elephants were killed by poachers. Poaching rates are so high that some scientists predict that African forest elephants could be extinct within the decade.
Following is a statement from NRDC Land and Wildlife director, Andrew Wetzler:
“Shutting down commercial ivory markets worldwide is the single biggest step that governments can take to end the elephant poaching crisis. As the world’s largest ivory market, the importance of China’s announcement to phase out all commercial ivory sales cannot be underestimated. Now it’s our job to closely monitor the details of China’s plans, including its timeline and any intermediate steps the Chinese government will be taking.”