Traders use loophole to get illegal ivory to the market

James Marshall
July 12, 2018

Catherine Bearder, member of the European Parliament who authored a resolution for an EU ban on ivory trade, told The Epoch Times that she was surprised by the high proportion of illegal ivory that made it to the market.

Under EU laws, government certificates are legally required for the sale of ivory acquired after 1947 and before 1990.

They then had the ivory radiocarbon dated at Oxford University's Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit.

Of greater concern, though, was the fact that one in five were from elephants killed after the global ban on the ivory trade came into force in 1989.

All items in the study were either advertised as pre-1947 antiques or did not mention age at all.

"This bombshell evidence proves beyond doubt that illegal ivory is being sold across Europe".

Traders are selling illegal ivory openly across the European Union through a loophole allowing trade in "antique" items, the campaign group Avaaz charged Tuesday.

"Illegally poached ivory often gets into the legal market, making the elephants a lucrative target for poachers". It must spark the end of this bloody trade. "Every day the sale of these trinkets continues is a day closer to wiping out majestic elephants forever", Wander added. Despite laws that are in place that prohibit the sale of modern ivory, which is ivory that originates after 1947, an environmental group has warned that a lot of the trade that's going on is much more recent.

However, campaigners have grown increasingly vocal in their opposition to any form of trade in ivory, as demand from China has shown little sign of abating and the dwindling remaining populations of elephants in Africa and Asia are under more threat than ever from increasingly mechanised and vicious predations by poachers, the Guardian reported.

"We need urgently to close the loopholes, ban the ivory trade and make sure all elephants are protected so that we can stop the poaching crisis and save them for generations to come".

The investigation found that all the pieces sold in Bulgaria, Spain, and Italy were illegal, and so were the large majority of items from France, the Netherlands, and Portugal.

The ban was also a victory for Britain's Prince William, who has long campaigned against the ivory trade.

Media reports in London said the EU's environment commissioner Karmenu Vella has pledged to look into the claims after visiting Avaaz's exhibition of illegal ivory outside the European Commission in Brussels.

The European Commission is now reviewing whether or not EU restrictions on ivory go far enough.

The United States will impose tough restrictions on the trade in ivory from African elephants, the US Fish and Wildlife Service announced on Thursday (2 June).

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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