Task Force Recommending US Ban on Ivory Sales!
A Presidential Advisory Committee that met 12/16/2013 plans
to recommend a total ban on ivory sales within the US to the task force on
Wildlife Trafficking. This recommendation is not only a ban on new ivory (which
already exists), but a ban on the sale of ALL ivory that is in any form.
Dear Advisory Committee,
I stand against a total ban of all ivory sales in the US. As called for in the Presidential Executive Order I ask that the recommendations continue to allow for "legal and legitimate commerce".
The ivory market in the US is stable and /or declining, and the seizure records indicate that most of the seizures made were personal effects lacking the correct paperwork, not the "blood tusks " spoken about in the media. Elephant Trade Information System (ETIS) analysis indicates that the amount of ivory (by weight) seized annually has not increased in recent years. WE are not the consumers of the poached ivory. Therefore banning ivory sales within the US will do nothing to save the remaining world population of elephants.
CITES MIKE report (Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants) September 2013 report, page 64 analysis states "Africa's elephant populations are managed sustainably" and that in 2013 the quota for permits for legal elephants was 1350 animals. This legal trade can be monitored with DNA testing and permitting. Enforcing and policing a total ban would use funds that should be used to support the ban on imports already in effect. A total ban on ivory sales would be an enforcement nightmare. Like prohibition it will cause a new wave of illicit commerce where a legitimate one now exists.
I fully support the CITES rules, closing international borders to elephant ivory trade, a law already in effect that should be actively enforced, but I stand against a total ban of all ivory commerce within our United States borders. Museums, antique dealers, collectors, artisans and individual citizens have invested in a legal and valuable material. Sanctioned trade in ivory that is legal (culled and pre-ban) and ivory that comes from unthreatened sources (mammoth, boar, warthog, antique and recycled products) can pose no possible threat to elephant herds in the wild.
I believe our mutual goals are the same and a solution can be reached. Please keep the focus where it belongs – preserving the elephant in the wild. To stabilize the elephant population the killing must be stopped in Africa and at the borders of its nations; therefore, the best course of action should be to actively support anti-poaching efforts. Address the problem at its source rather than at the end of the supply chain.