The U.S. Just Banned Ivory Sales

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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) just created a near-total ban on the domestic commercial trade of African elephant ivory. Under the Endangered Species Act, imports, exports and sales of the ivory will be limited.

Importing ivory has been illegal for some time, but this new rule is attempting to control ivory that is already here. Smugglers are currently able to evade detection and bring illegal ivory into the U.S.

“Since we proposed this rule in 2015, we received more than 1.3 million comments from the public, demonstrating that Americans care deeply about elephants and overwhelmingly support African elephant conservation,” said Service Director Dan Ashe in a USFWS press release. “Our actions close a major avenue to wildlife traffickers by removing the cover that legal ivory trade provides to the illegal trade. We still have much to do to save this species, but today is a good day for the African elephant.”

Elephants in Africa, even at safe havens, are in danger of being killed for their ivory. Over 100,000 elephants had been killed in a three-year period and left.

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