Obama Unveils Major Ivory Trade Ban To Save African Elephants

Obama is proposing to ban the sale of virtually all ivory across state lines.

Credit: Reuters

Credit: Reuters

While media sources have been flooded lately with heartbreaking news of poaching and environmental disasters, there is some positive news concerning the African poaching crisis, at least.

On Saturday, United States president Barack Obama took grand measures to tighten U.S. rules on sales of ivory from African elephants.

Said Obama at a press conference in Nairobi:

“I can announce that we’re proposing a new rule that bans the sale of virtually all ivory across state lines,” Obama said at a press conference in Nairobi.

At present, U.S. ivory regulations mostly concern the import and export of the material from America, while some legal trade of the material in between states is allowed. The new ban, however, will prohibit inter-state selling, while still providing limited exceptions for some sales between states, such as pre-existing music instruments, furniture pieces an firearms that contain less than 200 grams of ivory.

Obama’s newly proposed rule also contains new restrictions on international trade.



This announcement follows other restrictions on illegal ivory trade put into place by the United States president. Last year, he enacted a new strategy which toughened domestic and global enforcement, reducing demand for illegally traded wildlife at home and abroad.

As some activists are sure to comment, the announcement couldn’t come at a better time. At present, the ivory demand is at an all-time high, and that demand has a cost. As TrueActivist reported recently, the African Elephant is expected to go extinct within the next 10 years if poaching is not curbed.

Conservationists have employed many methods to try and deter poachers, but researchers still estimate that roughly 100,000 elephants were killed between 2010 and 2012. This number is staggering, shocking, and confusing, as it equates to about 7% of Africa’s elephant population per year.

Some celebrities are to thank for using their social status to bring this cause to Obama’s attention, such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Jane Goodall, and Dave Matthews who all signed an open letter to the president titled “Elephants Need Us.” The letter encouraged the president to follow through with his ban of ivory sales in the United States so elephant may stop being poached overseas.

While President Obama did not outright ban ivory in the US, his efforts are commendable and worth sharing, don’t you think?

Comment your thoughts below.

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