25% of ivory sold in China is illegal

2014-12-09 13:27


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Nairobi  - About a quarter of elephant ivory sold in retail outlets in China's capital Beijing and its most populous city Shanghai is illegal, a report issued by two charities said on Tuesday.

Demand for ivory is soaring in Asia and especially in China, driven by the rising purchasing power of the region's new affluent classes.

That has led to an increase in the illegal slaughter of African elephants, with some wildlife groups estimating that over 90% of all the ivory on sale in China is illegally sourced. Much is traded secretly, not through shops.

Ivory carving and sale is legal in China but is meant to be tightly controlled. China only permits 37 companies to work with ivory and in 2013 only 145 outlets were allowed to sell ivory. Collection cards are needed for identification of legally sold ivory.

However, a report, "China Faces a Conservation Challenge" by Kenya-based Save The Elephants and the British-based Aspinall Foundation, said 26.5% of the thousands of elephant ivory items on sale in Beijing and Shanghai were illegal.

"Many small shops that do not have licences to sell elephant ivory items are doing so," said the report's authors, who visited 303 outlets selling elephant and mammoth ivory in Shanghai and Beijing.

They found that the value of ivory has tripled since 2010, pointing to surging demand among Chinese buyers.

In Beijing the price of a 1-5kg tusk rose to about $2100 in 2014 from about $750 in 2010.

The Chinese government has in the past said it is committed to helping end poaching in Africa, where about 22 000 elephants were illegally killed in 2012, according to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites).

Cites banned trade in elephant ivory in 1989 but later allowed a limited amount to be sold.

Read more on:    cites  |  china  |  poaching  |  conservation

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.