United Kingdom, Taiwan announce they will introduce elephant ivory bans

By on April 5, 2018 with 82 Comments

Two more nations this week announced their decision to come down hard on commercial sales of elephant ivory, further strengthening the global campaign to save these gentle giants from poachers and wildlife traffickers.

On Tuesday, the United Kingdom said it will introduce what Prime Minister Teresa May described as “one of the toughest bans on ivory sales in the world.” On the same day, on the other side of the world, the government of Taiwan announced its intention to ban all commercial sales of ivory products, starting 2020.

Britain’s announcement follows a swell of public opinion against elephant ivory — when the U.K. government solicited public input last December, 88 percent of respondents supported a ban on ivory sales. HSI sent a detailed submission to the government on behalf of 19,623 of our supporters who agreed that only the strictest regulation would be acceptable. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, a vocal proponent of the ivory ban, applauded the public support, stating that it is “vitally important that we reverse the tragic decline in elephant populations.”

The U.K. still needs to codify this proposal into law, and we hope it will do so as soon as possible, to ensure that unscrupulous dealers do not have an opportunity to dump their illegal or questionable stockpiles onto the marketplace before the ban takes effect. But the U.K. announcement is also crucial because it ramps up pressure on the European Commission, which is the world’s largest exporter of legal ivory.

The EU has been examining restrictions on the import, export, and sale of elephant ivory in its member countries, and we hope that it too will act immediately to reduce its prominent role in the global trade in ivory. The majority of EU ivory exports are destined for China and Hong Kong, whose ivory markets have been fueled by illegal imports for decades. For their part, China and Hong Kong have already taken steps to address the threat to elephants posed by the trade, with China prohibiting all domestic sales of elephant ivory starting January 1 this year, while Hong Kong will prohibit commercial ivory sales by 2021.

It is now up to the EU to ban the ivory trade and make sure it does not fall behind in the global war on ivory. Because legally acquired ivory is very difficult to distinguish from illegal ivory, continued trade in ivory in the EU perpetuates demand for ivory and undermines efforts to combat wildlife crime.

Taiwan’s announcement, we hope, will similarly add pressure on Japan, which has more ivory manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers than any other country, and which trades tens of millions of dollars worth of ivory annually. Taiwan is seeking comment on its proposed ban, and HSI will soon submit a response in support of such a ban.

Our teams at HSI and The HSUS have been at the forefront of the work to end the ivory trade. Here in the United States, federal law prohibits most import, export, and interstate sales of elephant ivory, and seven states have recently passed additional safeguards and prohibit the sale of elephant ivory and rhino horns. Similar legislative campaigns are underway in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania. North of the border, HSI/Canada is keeping up the pressure to address that country’s ivory market.

In Asia, HSI last month launched a “No Ivory” campaign video featuring Yoh Daikan, an outfielder with the Yomiuri Giants, a legendary baseball team in Japan. Yoh was born and raised in Taiwan, and with assistance from Taiwan SPCA, he recorded public awareness videos for both Japanese and Taiwanese audiences, becoming the first celebrity in Japan to speak out for elephants. The Yomiuri Giants shared the press conference on multiple social media platforms, making it possible for Yoh’s message to reach the Japanese public on this important topic.

Protecting elephants is an issue that resonates with animal lovers around the world. They are sentient beings with emotions and social behaviors evocative of humans, and they are synonymous of Africa’s natural wonders and heritage. The announcements from Taiwan and the United Kingdom give us heart at a time when elephants face critical threats to their very survival and need all the help they can get.

Categories
Humane Society International, Public Policy (Legal/Legislative), Wildlife/Marine Mammals

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82 Comments

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  1. E. Buckley says:

    Well it’s a start, but why do we have to wait 2 or 3 years for a ban to come into effect? Meanwhile more elephants will be exterminated and the ivory traders get richer. The message to the world is do not buy any ivory products whatsoever starting right now.

  2. Caroline LEYGUE (CF) says:

    A wonderfull décision !!! Thanks too all the people who defend éléphants and all the animals victims of our crualty , the fight must go on 🐒

  3. Sherry Bell says:

    This is great news – it’s a start and not by any means can the elephants still be listed as being safe. But this great news I am so happy for the elephants and grateful to all you people that work hard for making this happen at the Humane Society International and all the other groups involved – I say to you Great work and keep it up . I am just on the sidelines donating when I can and sending across email and such to get more people aware of things that are happening that they don’t even realize whats going on – Thanks again – Sherry Bell

  4. corinne says:

    bonjour, je suis bien contente de cette décision et donc de cette victoire ,

  5. Elder Marlies says:

    Congratulations to your success. Thank you for your “Engagement”. Please continue to do so anywhere in the world in order to avoid cruelty to
    animals.

    Marlies Elder

  6. Tineke says:

    STOP!!!! BLIJF VAN DE DIEREN AF!! TE GEK VOOR WOORDEN!!!!

  7. Chris says:

    Starting 2020 – 21? Why not now?

  8. Petar Radmilovic says:

    I’m glad for this incredible Sunday for elephants! For a monumental victory, the governments of Great Britain and Taiwan, which announced the ban on the sale of ivory. I welcome this vital move to protect the elephants and stop the search and demand for consumers for ivory.
    Peter

  9. Candy Frantz-Crafton says:

    Thank You ALL for the BAN on Ivory…MANY TIMES!! I LOVE YOU ALL!!

  10. Shirley Croy says:

    Well done to Yoh Daikan speaking out maybe others will follow suit, the ones people look up to. And well done everyone else for their help in getting this result amazing & put a smile on me face.

  11. Nat Ford says:

    I thought there was already a UK ban on ivory sales. Well, ivory gathered after a certain date, anyway. You do not say anything about this. I assume that this will ban the sale of previously allowed old ivory?

  12. Jeannine wietrich says:

    LAISSER L IVOIR SUR LES ELEPHANTS , NE PAS LEURS ENLEVER !

  13. susan auger says:

    The ban on ivory is long overdue..the delay however is far too long and gives the opportunity for continued exploitation,killing and distribution of ivory before the deadline. why do governments drag their heels on this ?To save the elephant from further poaching and subsequent extinction the ban in ivory should be swift,with barely any warning at all!!!

    • Carmel says:

      Susan I totally agree with you. Why wait 2 to3 years, a lot of elephants and rhinos will be slaughtered during that time. Now is the time to do it because there won’t be any animals left .

    • Sandra says:

      I agree with you Susan, we need to ban Ivory right now!!! Punish anyone who buys or sells ivory and kill all poachers on sight!!!

      All animals are precious and we need to prevent them from going extinct at all costs!!!

  14. Catherine Knox says:

    If all this animal killing for greed is not stopped soon , my Greatgrandchildren -I have 5- will only know them as extinct .That is not why they were put on this earth !

  15. Carolyn Canada says:

    I hope you can get JAPAN to follow suit and put a similar ban in place as quickly as possible, before elephants become an extinct species.

  16. Alexis says:

    Encouragent

  17. Alison Dorian says:

    It is fitting that an international humane society would marshal the world wide ‘clout’ to impress global governments to reflect the will of the consumer masses.

  18. Charlotte Starkey says:

    Just to say this is fantastic news. Well done to all who love the elephants and all the animals!!! And great that governments are now at last taking note and have people of like minds about these major issues.

  19. Christa Thul says:

    If legal ivory is indistinguishable from the illegal, than the only thing that can be done, is to make the legal ivory trade illegal, as well as the illegal trade. It is all well and good that many countries have the intention to ban the trade of ivory in the not far future, but I’m asking why not now? How many more Elephants have to die, before all these ‘good intentions’ are made unlawful? I have absolutely zero tolerance for any excuse politicians give, why the immediate trade of any ivory, should not only be made illegal, but to be very harshly punished. Personally I would introduce the death sentence for poachers, and very long prison sentences for anybody involved in the trade of ivory.

  20. Benard Nathalie says:

    Je suis contre le braconnage et le massacre des éléphants pour l’ivoire.

  21. Lynn Roberta Mason says:

    This is the best of news that has been out there of late, keep the pressure up, we much do everything possible to save this iconic beast before it becomes too late!

  22. MONICA ESPERANZA LOPEZ JOJOA says:

    PARA MI LO MAS IMPORTANTE ES QUE HAYA JUSTICIA PARA QUIENES HACEN DAÑO A LOS ANIMALES, OJALA Y HAYA LA POSIBILIDAD DE QUE MANDEN A LA CARCEL O CADENA PERPETUA O LA PENA DE MUERTE A TODOS AQUELLOS QUE MALTRATAN, TORTURAN, VIOLAN Y TERMINAN CON LA VIDA DE LOS ANIMALES. ES NECESARIO QUE TODAS LAS PERSONAS QUE ESTAMOS A FAVOR DE LOS ANIMALES Y AMAMOS QUE ELLOS SIGAN VIVOS, ACTUEMOS Y DEFENDAMOS SUS DERECHOS. ES MI DESEO QUE COMO SER HUMANO QUE AMO Y ADORO A TODOS LOS ANIMALES, ME DA RABIA QUE NO HAYA JUSTICIA Y QUE NO HAYA CARCEL PARA ESTOS MALANDROS QUE ESTAN ACABANDO CON LA VIDA DE ESTOS SERES INDEFENSOS.

  23. B. Maurene White says:

    Tears of joy and wonder!! Thanks so much for all you do.
    Now how do we get Canada and the US on board?

  24. mary checketts says:

    if humans dont start to protect animals that is one of our jobs from god to be guardians over those who are defenseless to human greed and abuses we will not have these great majestic beings roaming our planet. great news from Taiwan and United Kingdom now the United States needs to follow and get behind the protecting of all animals!!!!!!!

  25. Patricia Thornett says:

    Bravo! Each step helps save a precious life and gives hope for the future.

  26. jackie montgomery says:

    This great news would be even better if the bans were to come into effect sooner.. An awful lot of Elephants could be killed by 2020-2021

  27. Dan says:

    This brings me such joy and hope. The US is quickly becoming the least civilized – civilized society. We are a national embarrassment.

  28. Sharon prior says:

    All ivory needs to be banned in the UK then it might save our elephants

  29. Christopher Lord says:

    It’s time for all countries around the world to ban ivory.

  30. Diana Carmichael says:

    This is very encouraging news which the EU must take note of and act upon immediately. Congratulations to China and Taiwan and Great Britain for banning the ivory trade and thank you. I look forward to the day when all elephants can live without the threat of being killed for their tusks because there is a worldwide ban.

  31. o. LeBlanc says:

    Très bien fait pour la survie de ces animaux grandioses qui méritent qu’on les protège des hommes sans vergogne qui ne pensent qu’a eux,leurs biens et fortune personnelle en détruisant toutes vies sur leur passage….Pour ça je dis …..BRAVO..

  32. Kathleen nailor says:

    Please do whatever is possible to save these magnificent creatures. Stopping illegal poaching of elephants ivory is essential in their survival. Please help save these elephants . Thank you, Kathy nailor

  33. o. LeBlanc says:

    Made very well for the survival of these grand animals which deserve that they are protected shameless men who do not think that has they, their properties and personal fortune by destroying any lives on their passage … .Pour that I say … .. BRAVO ..

  34. Celine Blando says:

    Why can’t the ban start immediately and include the U.S.A.?

  35. mariareboutsika says:

    I am angry!!

  36. jane avallone says:

    My comment isn’t so much as to have open discussion, but rather to continue
    efforts to keep these magnificent animals free from any kind of cruelty.

  37. Constance Schertlen says:

    This ban of ivory in the U.K. and Taiwan is really wonderful and I am very happy this has been achieved! Now let all the other countries and the rest of the world ban the sale and trade of ivory. Make it certain that every elephant on this planet is living it’s life in good health, happy and in peace.

  38. Christina Mehrl says:

    Animals are the best

  39. Catherine Mary Terzian says:

    Animals are more than sentient beings . They are souls too. Humans are souls …..so are animals. They deserve respect and humane treatment

  40. Beth Hall says:

    A Victory for the Voiceless and Choiceless!!

  41. Olive Maj says:

    That is wonderful news!

  42. Fran Leard says:

    I hope they follow through on this and stop this horrible treatment to these beautiful elephants. It’s got to stop completely since it’s been going on for too many years.

    Thank you for your hard work and dedication to all our animals.

  43. Cindy Andrews says:

    Fantastic job! Thank you!

  44. Blaise says:

    Rien à dire sur toutes les horrreurs qui se passe sur cette planète…l’humain sera t’il un jour conscient de ce qu’il fait….je l’espère…sinon….il va droit à sa perte et plus grave ….à celle des animaux

  45. beryl bluemel says:

    This is very good news. Excellent. Have just been to South Africa to see these beautiful creatures.

  46. Cindy Guarnieri says:

    This is great news. We must continue the right to END ALL IVORY TRADE EVERYWHERE. Thank you all for your dedication and hard work at ending this ugly, despicable activity.

  47. Cindy Guarnieri says:

    This is great news. We must keep fighting to END this ugly, despicable activity FOR GOOD. Thank you everone for your dedication and hard work.

  48. Lisa Smith Elyea says:

    We need to work towards a total ban on ivory (new and old) sales in every country throughout the world. The EU really needs to act now, so please keep up the pressure on the EU. We need to make the ownership of ivory a societal taboo so that future generations will not even consider owning ivory.

  49. tina motz says:

    It needs to start now 2018 NOT 2020. The next two years waiting will end up being a total disaster for Elephants. Start Banning Now it does not take two years to be able to accomplish this. REALLY

  50. Colum Nolan says:

    Well done HSI!!

  51. LOUISE MOORE says:

    IM BEYOND WORDS!!!!!
    THANK YOU FOR THESE STEPS BEING TAKEN TO PROTECT OUR BEAUTIFUL ANIMALS FROM ABUSE!!!!!!

  52. Ann Fennell says:

    Please save these beautiful creatures! Don’t exploit them for monetary gain. What goes around comes around.

  53. Sharon Carlson says:

    I would like to ask why does it take until 2020 for Taiwan to cease, why not immediately ?

  54. Ivana halliday says:

    Thank you, it’s about time the world starts listening.

  55. brenda says:

    Fantastic!!!! Thank you for your wonderful work and efforts! These poor beautiful creatures cannot speak for themselves!You do it for them,

  56. Olga Zhukova says:

    We are civilized people and must preserve nature for posterity.

  57. Bob Windsor says:

    Whilst I’m pleased to hear of this partial victory, why won’t Taiwan & Hong Kong ban the trade in Ivory IMMEDIATELY rather than 2020 & 2021 respectively. Surely this will only serve to INCREASE the rate of slaughter of these beautiful sentient creatures by the scum that carry out these atrocities to beat the deadline if at all it ever comes into being
    Sadly I think this is no more than these two governments paying lip service to conservation as they have a lamentable record in this regard and of course not averse to corruption which is endemic in that part of the world. I’ll start rejoicing when I start to read headlines that state Africa & Asia face a crisis from herds of elephants so large that they stretch from one horizon to another and that the human population is in retreat.
    So on reflection, I don’t necessarily share your enthusiasm that the world of elephant conservation has turned the corner: I am of course happy to be proven wrong….but I ain’t holding my breath!!

  58. Sandra Bongni says:

    Eine wunderbare Nachricht. Wird auch Zeit!

  59. Randy vitto says:

    Never give up the fight for all animals!! USMC

  60. Randy vitto says:

    Never give up the fight for all animals!!!USMC

  61. Monique Lestrat says:

    Very happy for elephants ! thank you

  62. Michelle Aileen Cosstick says:

    That’s good they’re banning elephant ivory sales. I’m against them selling fur too.

  63. Ali says:

    Make the world ivory free and save the elephant!!!

  64. Jacqueline rodgers says:

    I feel it is high time tougher action is taken to totally ban the killings of elephants for their ivory and to erradicate the sale of all ivory pre and post ban.The world has moved forward and are educated to now understand the danger of continuing this and therefore the rest must follow in this quest!

  65. Ana Garcia says:

    Justicia

  66. Bettina Ulloth says:

    Tiere sind Lebewesen mit einem Herz und mit Gefühlen wie der Mensch und sie haben das gleiche Recht auf Leben und Unversehrtheit und auf Futter und Wasser und auf ein Dach über den Kopf mit genügend Platz für sich selbst wie der Mensch und sie haben den gleichen Wert wie der Mensch und sie gehören in Freiheit und in Frieden

  67. ARLENE POTTOK says:

    ANYTHING WE DO TO SAVE THESE MAGNIFICENT ANIMALS WE NEED TO DO. SOON RATHER THAN LATER. OR WE WILL FACE THE SAME FATE AS THE WHITE RHINOS.

  68. Ricarda Klußmeier says:

    Klasse! Hoffentlich lassen die Menschen die Elefanten nun endlich in Ruhe und Frieden leben!!!!!!!!!!

  69. cieslak says:

    il faut arreter les ivoires et laisser tranquillement les elephants qui devraient etre heureux

  70. Adriana Rodriguez says:

    Please stop this cruelty please

  71. Helen Lee says:

    Please save our precious elephants..we do not need their ivory that they’re getting losing their lives for…so cruelly and for the greed of money.

  72. Lynne Mac Gregor says:

    Thank G_d. This is absolutely fantastic news!

  73. Jaana Lähteenmäki says:

    Decision makers listened to the voices of caring animal advocates who spoke out against this awful trade. These two victories send a message to the world that animal cruelty should not be for sale and prove that our voices are strong when we work to protect animals together.

    On behalf of elephants all over the world, thank you for caring about animals.

  74. M Cuthbert says:

    The ban should start now, enough prevarication, enough lying, enough showing good will, action is required now. Stop the ivory trade NOW. Tomorrow is too late!

  75. joann Hall says:

    lets hope we can stop it all over the world lets wild animals live in peace stop killing these its not right PLEASES STOP KILLING wild life and stop all cruelty to all animals and children too best start in the USA an UK.All over the world

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