The U.S. is getting closer to a proposed ban on ivory that was applauded by conservationists, with the announcement of new adjustments to the policy from the White House yesterday. The government detailed exemptions that will include certain old musical instruments with ivory parts as well as ivory in museum and art exhibitions.
The exceptions were "common-sense adjustments," according to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) director Dan Ashe, who said that several musicians and major orchestras complained that the ban would prevent them from traveling internationally with their instruments. In order to qualify for the exception, the owners of such items have to prove they were legally acquired before the date in 1976, when African elephants were listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
As officials continue to hammer out the details, the ivory ban that was called a “significant milestone” in the country -- the second largest market for ivory products -- takes shape. In anticipation of the ban, which USFWS has already begun to implement, the Obama administration wrote that the strategy will “strengthen U.S. leadership on addressing the serious and urgent conservation and global security threat posed by illegal trade in wildlife.”
The ivory trade drives a brutal campaign of international poaching that killed 22,000 elephants in 2012 alone, despite a global ban on the sale of ivory. Join us in pledging never to buy new or vintage ivory products -- which include narwhal, walrus and hippo ivory -- to help save the world's animals from poaching.