TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan's Forestry Bureau said on July 13 that the ban on the sale of ivory will enter into force in 2020, in a measure to protect African elephants, who are illegally hunted for their tusks, reported CNA.
From January 1 2020, all ivory products will no longer be legally bought and sold, in-line with similar international bans.
Recent years have seen increased momentum towards the absolute ban in ivory sales. The 17th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 2016, was rife with calls for all countries to close their domestic ivory market, in the face of declining African elephant populations.
According to the "African Elephant Status Report 2016" published by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the total population of African elephants has decreased from 508,000 in 2006 to 415,000 in 2015.
According to the Forestry Bureau, at this rate the African elephant will become extinct within 20 years.
In this context, the Forestry Bureau discussed the issue with relevant stakeholders and announced amendments to the Wildlife Conservation Act (野生動物保育法).
Taiwan first rolled out its ivory-restrictions to the ivory trade in 1994, when revisions to the Wildlife Conservation Act banned trade and display of ivory products in principle, but due to the large stockpile of ivory by vendors, the law stipulated that certain sales can be made under the eye of the government.
Once the ban enters into force on January 1 2010, offenders will face a maximum prison sentence of five years and a maximum fine of NT$1.5 million (US$49,050).