Poaching and wildlife trafficking are some of the most challenging aspects of wildlife preservation. Which is why in early February of 2014, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service implemented a ban on the commercial trade of ivory. This move was made in response to the recent spike in elephant poaching that has occurred over the last few years.
The poaching of elephant and rhinoceros for their ivory tusks is a lucrative business. Billions of dollars are made at the cost of the lives of thousands of elephants. This makes poaching the fourth largest crime in the world, and all the more reason for the ban on ivory trade.
The United States ban on ivory is pretty all inclusive. According to the question-and-answer article on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service website, virtually all trade of ivory will be prohibited. This includes any type of import or export of any elephant or rhinoceros ivory. There will also be significant restrictions on the resale of ivory, particularly when identifying the piece as an antique or not. Owners or sellers of antique ivory will be responsible for identifying it as an antique, which means it must be over one hundred years old and meet a host of other requirements that fall under the Endangered Species Act. It will also fall on the owner or seller of antique ivory to provide proof that their pieces meet the specified requirements.
Along with the new regulations on sale and trade, elephants will receive renewed protection under the Endangered Species Act and there will be new regulations on the legal sport hunting of elephants. All of these new rules will be implemented in the hopes of helping the endangered elephant populations as well as halting the illegal poaching and trade of ivory.