Taiwan and U.K. to Ban Ivory Trade

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TAIWAN (WILDAID) - Taiwan has introduced a bill that will ban all domestic ivory trade effective January 1, 2020. Amendments to the Wildlife Conservation Act will make it illegal to sell or purchase ivory in the jurisdiction.

Violators will face prison sentences ranging from six months to five years, and fines up to NT$1 million (US$34,222). Before coming into effect, the bill is in a 60-day public consultation period.

Also this week, the UK announced tighter restrictions on ivory limiting trade to very few exceptions, such as museum antiquities. A public consultation there received 70,000 responses, 88% of which were in favor of a comprehensive ivory ban.

The actions by the U.K. and Taiwan follow domestic ivory bans in mainland China and the US. Hong Kong also recently announced plans to phase out the ivory trade.

“The UK and other jurisdictions are following mainland China’s lead in banning the ivory trade, which will provide much-needed relief to Africa's elephants,” said WildAid CEO Peter Knights.

“Now all attention should be on Japan, which continues to have a weakly-regulated ivory trade, as the last step to consigning this destructive trade to history,” Knights said.

In recent years, up to 33,000 African elephants have been killed annually for their ivory tusks. WildAid's campaigns with high-profile ambassadors raise awareness about the poaching crisis in order to reduce consumer demand for ivory.