Retailers in Hong Kong, one of the world's biggest markets for elephant ivory, are slowly taking the products off their shelves. Four major companies have now announced store-wide ivory bans after protests from animal advocates and conservationists.
The latest retailer, Chinese Goods Centre, announced its ban, which will go into effect within 12 months, South China Morning Post reports. On Thursday, director Wong Chow Kuen-kuen wrote:
"We are aware that a business ... should not only be about profit, it should also take on its social and environmental and conservation responsibility."
The three other retailers, called Wing On, Yue Hwa and Chinese Arts & Crafts, all announced their ivory bans last year.
Most of the city's major retailers are now ivory-free - a huge step for one of the largest transit points for illegal ivory moving from Africa to China, a country that makes up as much as 70 percent of global demand for ivory products.
Hong Kong has been taking gradual steps to take itself off the list of major ivory consumers. Last May, the world's largest ivory incineration began destroying nearly 30 tons of ivory seized from wildlife traffickers. At the time, the city's environment secretary Wong Kam-sing told reporters: