Ending the ivory trade in Hong Kong to save African elephants.

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Ban on ivory sales protects elephants
By Jane Charilaou
In a very positive turn of events, the endangered African elephant has received a much needed reprieve that will greatly help the much-loved mammal’s prospects of survival and well-being. The announcement comes from Hong Kong which has proposed a complete ban on the sale of ivory. Hong Kong is the centre of this lucrative trade that sees the tragic and often illegal poaching and killing of elephants for their valuable teeth and tusks. Ivory has been used widely for jewellery, carvings, piano keys and even snooker balls - it is also a prized ingredient in many dubious potions designed for human consumption.

Up until now the only restriction on the sale of ivory products was a treaty which said that all ivory had to be acquired before 1989, and no more could be produced after that date. This sounds good, but in fact, the treaty had many loopholes that were easily exploited by unscrupulous traders. After years of international pressure from animal rights activists, Leung Chun-ying, Chief Executive of Hong Kong has now vowed to "Ban totally the sale of ivory in Hong Kong." What’s more, he assured, "We'll do it expeditiously - as quickly as we can."


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