China to close over a third of legal ivory factories and shops by today, to remain on track to complete ivory trade ban by end of this year | WWF

China to close over a third of legal ivory factories and shops by today, to remain on track to complete ivory trade ban by end of this year

Posted on 30 March 2017
African elephant (Loxodonta africana), bull with large tusks. Amboseli National Park, Kenya
African elephant (Loxodonta africana), bull with large tusks. Amboseli National Park, Kenya.
© Martin Harvey / WWF
31 March: Today marks the end of the first stage in implementing China’s ivory trade ban. On March 24, China's State Forestry Administration announced a list of 12 licensed ivory factories (out of 34) and 55 retail ivory shops (out of 143) that are to be closed by the end of March. The rest will be closed by the end of year.

In response to this announcement and to mark the end of the first phase of the trade ban,  Colman O’Criodain, WWF’s Policy Manager for the Wildlife Practice, comments:

“China is the world's largest ivory market and its trade ban is a significant conservation win for elephants. We are extremely pleased to see that China has announced the first stage of their ban is on track. Should this progress continue and the ban be fully implemented by the end of this year, we would expect to see a significant reduction in illegal ivory trade, which is fueling the poaching crisis overseas. We strongly encourage other countries that have legal ivory markets that are contributing to the illegal trade to urgently adopt similar bans. This is particularly important for China’s immediate neighbours, to prevent its legal ivory stocks going into other markets.

“Law enforcement will be key to ensuring success of this ban and others. It's imperative that we increase
monitoring of illegal sales including online trade and ensure criminals face tough sentences. WWF and TRAFFIC are committed to stopping the rampant poaching of elephants, eradicating consumer desire for ivory and tackling the wider illegal wildlife trade.”
African elephant (Loxodonta africana), bull with large tusks. Amboseli National Park, Kenya
African elephant (Loxodonta africana), bull with large tusks. Amboseli National Park, Kenya.
© Martin Harvey / WWF Enlarge