Obama Cracks Down on US Ivory Sales
Sellers will now have to prove their ivory is legit
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Feb 12, 2014 8:23 AM CST
This Nov. 14, 2013 file photo shows confiscated decorative ivory piled together in preparation to be destroyed during an event at the National Wildlife Property Repository in Commerce City, Colo.   (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)

(Newser) – The Obama administration today announced a ban on nearly all ivory imports, exports, and sales, along with rules designed to make skirting the ban especially difficult. Under the new rules, all commercial imports of African elephant ivory are banned, including antiques. Most domestic sales will be banned as well; there are exemptions for antiques, as well as ivory that meets Endangered Species Act protections, but it'll be up to sellers to prove beyond doubt that their ivory qualifies.

That last change is especially important, activists tell the Washington Post, because it's been nearly impossible for law enforcement to figure out which ivory was purchased before the 1989 ban. "We're eliminating the loopholes that help smugglers launder newly poached blood ivory via US markets," the chief of law enforcement for the US Fish and Wildlife Service tells National Geographic. The move comes just in time for a global summit on wildlife trafficking that David Cameron is hosting today and tomorrow.

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Feb 17, 2014 5:43 PM CST
Where can I hide the baby grand ?
Feb 12, 2014 11:33 PM CST
When the buying stops, the killing can too!
Feb 12, 2014 1:43 PM CST
Theres loads of legal ivory out there. Comes from any animal with tusks; walrus, hippo, pig, sperm whale, narwhal, mammoth. Some legal to hunt or import, some not. The feds just gotta make sure it's not from threatened animal species. There's also vegetable ivory, comes from the nut of a palm.