Jun 28, 2017 | Updated: 09:10 PM EDT

Hong Kong Landed New Bill To Ban The Ivory Trade

Jun 15, 2017 04:10 PM EDT

Elephants carved from illegal Ivory are displayed at an 'Endangered Species' exhibition at London Zoo on September 12, 2011 in London, England
(Photo : Dan Kitwood/Getty Images) Elephants carved from illegal Ivory are displayed at an 'Endangered Species' exhibition at London Zoo on September 12, 2011 in London, England. The exhibition is organised by 'Operation Charm', a Metropolitan Police partnership aimed at tackling the illegal trade in endangered wildlife and runs for one month at London Zoo. Items include a 10 week old stuffed Tiger cub, the tooth of a sperm whale, Ivory carvings, and a stuffed Tiger.

Hong Kong has finally landed a bill to implement a ban on the ivory trade. This bill must be helpful to stop the illegal poaching of the elephants.

Hong Kong, a densely populated city in southern China, is a key center of the ivory sales. Last year the city made an announcement about the implementation of a ban on the export and import of the goods. Though, later a clarification surfaced and pointed out that the complete abolition of the trade can only be possible by 2021.

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On Wednesday an amendment was presented to bring some changes to the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance. The amendment can make the existing ordinance stronger so that it can eradicate the local ivory trade in the Hong Kong city. But, the important fact is a five-year time is necessary to complete the whole process.

According to Phys.org, Environment minister Wong Kam-sing produced the bill on Wednesday at the legislative council. He uttered that Hong Kong city should provide a response to the international community's demand. He indicated that the complete closure of the ivory trade must be possible by the year 2021.

Recently, the manager of the Garamba National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Erik Mararv, stated about his bitter experience. He revealed that last year poachers attacked his team when they were close to the elephant carcass. Three rangers died due to this violent incident. Erik Mararv argued that ivory traders in Hong Kong should not get the compensation as this act could encourage the business.

The demand for the African ivory is very high in China and Hong Kong. The importance of this ivory explores its necessity as the symbol of status and as ornaments. The use of the elephant task in some traditional medicine also raises its demand in the market.

Though, the sellers associated with the ivory trade want compensation. These sellers in Hong Kong state that an international ban affected their market and they are no more able to offload their stocks. The trading of the elephant ivory became illegal in 1989 after the severe decrement of the giant animal's population.

WildAid previously reported that the Hong Kong Legislative Council Panel heard the views of both the members who support or against the ivory ban. The Panel listened to the remarks of 20 members who supported the ivory ban. On the other hand, 15 traders raised their voice against the ban.

The panel received 275 letters in support of the ivory ban compared to 40 submissions against the ban before the hearing. During the meeting, 150 supporters gathered outside to voice their views in favor of the Hong Kong city's initiative to stop the illegal trade. These supporters included people from different African nations. The number of the elephant reached to 600,000 from millions by the end of the 1980s in Africa.

Currently, the number is 415,000. The decreasing trend is quite visible through the numbers. The lawmaker Regina Ip questioned about the compensation of the traders in Hong Kong. But, the Environment minister Wong Kam-sing reported that the government is not ready to buy the ivory. He revealed that Hong Kong city is determined to shut down this market.


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