KCBS Animal Update: Status On The Ivory Trade

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — The ivory trade currently produces statues and ornaments made from the tusks of elephants. According to Dr. Jennifer Scarlett from the San Francisco SPCA, online sales are the most popular way to trade despite the fact that it’s illegal.

“To harvest ivory you have to kill an elephant,” she said. “In 1989 there was an international ban placed on the poaching of elephants and the ivory trade because we saw such a decrease in the population of elephants.”

Scarlett went on to explain that since 2007, they’ve seen record levels of poaching and ivory on the market. In December, African and Asian countries got together in a summit to see if they could impose more anti-poaching laws. In addition, the United States has committed to providing additional aid and training for rangers.

“Unfortunately the U.S. and China are still the major drivers for the demand of ivory,” Scarlett said. “As long as we don’t have a demand, then we won’t have a supply.”

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