China to Ban Domestic Ivory Trade by End of 2017

There was good news that came out just before the new year regarding the ivory trade and according to Carter Roberts, the president of the World Wildlife Fund, it's a "game changer for elephant conservation."

According to The New York Times, in late December, after years of local and international pressure and advocacy, China announced that it would ban its ivory trade by the end of 2017, effectively shutting down the "world's largest domestic ivory market." According to the article:

"In the announcement, the State Council, China's cabinet, said the shutdown of the market, which includes all processing and sales, would occur in phases throughout 2017."

Some of those "phases" include the closing of legal ivory processing factories and businesses by March 31, transferring legal ivory into museums and cultural sites, and assisting those who have worked in the industry with finding related jobs. With the United States also ending the domestic trade of ivory earlier in 2016, wildlife advocate with the Natural Resources Defense Council Elly Pepper noted the significance of this announcement, stating:

"Demand for elephant ivory has skyrocketed in recent years, spurring poaching levels that are driving elephants towards extinction. And ending the legal ivory trade in China -- the world's largest consumer of elephant ivory -- is critical to saving the species."

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Lena Tachdjian is a certified nutritionist and a writer, who splits her time between Canada and Armenia. She writes about nutrition, health, food, recipes, culture, travel, animal rights, and more. You can follow her on her nutrition and travel blog

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