It is okay to buy and sell "antique" ivory items.
False! While some rationalize the market for old ivory by saying "the elephant died years ago, so what's the harm?" The truth is that any market for ivory creates a demand for tusks, which is leading to the rapid extinction of elephants. In fact, the more "valuable" ivory is seen as being, the more likely it is that people who can't afford antiques will buy new ivory as an investment. In addition, it's hard to tell the age of carved ivory, and new ivory can be artificially aged and papers forged about when it was bought/sold, making import and export exceptions for antique ivory a gigantic loophole that international traders abuse to profit from their horrendous crimes.
Think of ivory as the new fur. Would you wear a fur coat-even an old one? If you own ivory you can keep it; just don't wear it or sell it. Become part of the movement to remove ads for ivory from sites like Google and eBay. If you live in the U.S., sign a petition to ban ivory trade in your state here.
The United States has banned the sale of ivory.
False! The U.S. currently is the second largest market for ivory in the world, with China being #1. In February 2014 a partial ban on the import and export of elephant ivory was put in place and is now in force, but sadly there are exceptions that permit antique, noncommercial, and "personal use" import and export. Just as bad, it continues to allow inhumane hunters to import elephant heads as trophies. No, this is not the 18th century, but it sounds like it, right?
There isn't much you can do to stop poachers.
False! One of the more effective ways to stop elephant poaching is to eliminate the market for ivory.
On October 4, 2014, The Global March for Elephants and Rhinos is conducting worldwide educational marches about the ivory trade in 105 cities worldwide. You can go to their site to sign petitions to ban import and sale of ivory and you can find more petitions at 96 Elephants.
You can use Twitter and Facebook to educate your friends and family know about this issue and what they can do-including never buying, selling or wearing ivory.
Finally, you can support organizations like Big Life that are stopping poachers on the ground in Africa.