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Near Total Ban on Commercial Trade in #Ivory in U.S.


Contact: Haley McKey, 202-772-0247

Email: hmckey@defenders.org

WASHINGTON (June 2, 2016) – Today the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service completed a final rule to crack down on the illegal trade in African elephant ivory. The rule institutes a near-total ban on the commercial trade of ivory in the United States and restricts the import, export and sale of ivory across state lines. The rule ends the legal trade in ivory products that has served as a cover for illegal ivory, making it more difficult for the poachers to sell trafficked ivory in U.S. markets. Over 30,000 African elephants are killed for their ivory tusks each year, pushing the species closer to the brink of extinction. The rule responsibly addresses concerns raised by stakeholder groups such as gun owners and musicians, and sets forth commonsense measures to reduce the U.S. role in the illegal ivory trade that is devastating African elephant populations.

Statement from President and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife, Jamie Rappaport Clark:

“This rule is a critical step forward in the international fight to protect African elephants from ivory poaching. It will go a long way towards ensuring that this iconic species will still walk the earth for generations to come. Ivory trafficking is an international crisis, and we must act now to stop it.

“This rule delivers on the commitment the United States made in 2013 with President Obama’s executive order calling on government agencies to stop ivory trafficking, and our partnership with China to reduce the demand for ivory and halt the illegal ivory trade in both countries. It will no doubt frame the topic for upcoming U.S.-China strategic discussions regarding wildlife trafficking.”


Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With more than 1.2 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit www.defenders.org. To get the latest news from Defenders, follow @DefendersNews.