China plans to ban ivory trade by end of 2017

China makes ‘historic’ announcement to ban all ivory trade and processing activities by the end of 2017.

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© Julia Migné

Following a resolution passed at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) in South Africa last October, China has announced its intention to ban ivory trade by the end of the year.

According to BBC News, conservation groups have hailed the decision as “historic” and a “game-changer” for the future of the emblematic species.

China has the biggest ivory market in the world, with estimates that suggest them be the final destination for up to 70% of the world’s ivory.

The details of the ban were announced by China’s State Council on Friday. The commercial processing and sale of ivory will officially stop by 31 March and a full halt to the market will be brought about by phasing out all registered traders by the end of the year.

WWF called the ban a “historic announcement… signalling an end to the world’s primary legal ivory market and a major boost to international efforts to tackle the elephant poaching crisis in Africa”.

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