Q: What makes ivory so precious? It has no intrinsic value, but its cultural uses make ivory highly prized. In Africa, it has been a status symbol for millennia because it comes from elephants, a highly respected animal, and because it is fairly easy to carve into works of art.
What is the use of ivory?
Before plastics were introduced, ivory had many ornamental and practical uses, mainly because of the white color it presents when processed. It was formerly used to make cutlery handles, billiard balls, piano keys, Scottish bagpipes, buttons and a wide range of ornamental items.
Why is ivory illegal?
The illegal elephant ivory trade is driven by transnational organized crime syndicates. They devastate elephant populations and undermine the rule of law, destabilize governments, and promote corruption. Rangers and local communities are often caught in the crossfire of wildlife crime.
Why is ivory in high demand?
Elephants are in danger Demand for ivory is driving the poaching of African elephants. Conservation experts believe as much as 70 percent of global ivory demand comes from China.
Who is buying the most ivory?
China is by far the largest importer of this legalized ivory, however the United States, Canada, Germany, South Korea, Thailand, and Singapore also import mammoth ivory directly from Russia (page 21). However mammoth ivory has also been used as a cover to sell illicit elephant ivory in the United States.
What is the law on selling ivory?
Under Federal law, you can sell your Asian elephant ivory within your state (intrastate commerce) if you can demonstrate that your ivory was lawfully imported prior to the date that the Asian elephant was listed in CITES Appendix I (July 1, 1975). Some states have laws prohibiting or restricting sale of ivory.