BREAKING: China officially closes its ivory market

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Dominic Dyer Policy Adviser at the Born Free Foundation appeared on Sky News on Monday 1st January to give his reaction to the ivory trade ban in China and what action the UK government should take to protect African elephants in the future

Dominic welcomed the official closure of the China ivory market the largest in the world. He told Sky News that State Media in China reported a 65% decline in pre carved ivory prices and an 80% reduction in illegal ivory seizures in the last year which is to be welcomed

He said that Chinese society is changing and many of the emerging middle and upper class do not want the reputation of China to be tarnished by its association with the ivory trade

He also praised the role of Prince William in raising awareness on the impact of the ivory trade on Africa’s elephants, within Chinese society

China bans ivory

However he cautioned against the belief that the battle against the trade in ivory was now over in China, as widespread fraud and corruption remains a major problem and Chinese territories such as Hong Kong and Macau will remain major hubs for the ivory trade in the future

Moving on to the UK he told Sky News that over 60,000 people had responded to the UK ivory trade consultation, 20,000 over Christmas alone

He told Sky News that support for the UK ivory trade was a key factor for Conservative MP Victoria Borwick losing her Kensington and Chelsea seat in the June election

A key issue of concern for conservationists is to ensure any final ban on trading ivory in the UK is comprehensive, meaningful and enforceable

China bans ivory

 

The antiques trade are pushing for an exemption for ivory products that are considered to have historical and cultural value, which is a gaping hole for criminals to exploit

Dominic ended the interview by welcoming the commitment by the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to put Britain in the lead in the global fight to protect Africa’s elephants

However he said far more could be achieved if the UK government made better use of its £13 billion annual foreign aid budget to help protect elephants and other endangered species in Africa

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