Movement is afoot to crack down on one of the world's largest illegal ivory markets that's fueling the rampant slaughter of African elephants.
On Tuesday, Hong Kong legislative councillor Dr. Elizabeth Quat, a leading proponent for an ivory sales ban in China, formally announced her plan to seek a Hong Kong government ban on its domestic ivory trade. Hong Kong is a key market for illegal ivory, with an estimated 15 percent of the world's total ivory seizures made in the city in 2013.
"Hong Kong would be the first consumer nation to ban ivory sales," Legislative Councillor Quat said. "We'd be taking a strong stand with our brothers and sisters in Africa and setting an example for the rest of the world."
Quat also announced that she has been lobbying Hong Kong deputies to China's National People's Congress (NPC) to suggest a resolution banning the domestic ivory trade in mainland China, the world's largest ivory market. Quat told reporters that she had already secured the key support of Maria Tam Wai-chu, the convener of the 36-strong bloc of Hong Kong deputies to the NPC, for the suggested resolution to the NPC's Standing Committee.