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Ivory imports from trophy hunting banned

Updated: 2015-10-15 14:47
By SU ZHOU (chinadaily.com.cn)

Ivory imports from trophy hunting banned

Confiscated ivory items and carvings are displayed during an ivory destruction ceremony at Beijing's wildlife rescue and rehabilitation center, in Beijing, May 29, 2015. As many as 660 kg of ivory items and carvings confiscated since 2014 have been crushed by China's State Forestry Administration (SFA) and General Administration of Customs (GACC). [Photo/IC]

China has imposed a one-year ban on imports of ivory acquired during trophy hunting in Africa and introduced other restricts to reduce the ivory trade.

The import ban announced today by the State Forestry Administration, China's wildlife watchdog, follows an agreement reached between China and the United States earlier this month during President Xi Jinping's US state visit.

The agreement includes a nearly complete ban on ivory imports and exports, significant restrictions on the import of ivory obtained as hunting trophies, and steps to halve the domestic commercial ivory trade.

Statement from the State Forestry Administration described elephant hunting as an inhumane and extravagant pursuit.

"In recent years, many wealthy Chinese have spent big money to hunt an elephant and trot out the ivory as a trophy," the statement said. "This kind of behavior also damages China's image around the world."

The new restrictions underscore the Chinese government's position in wildlife protection and are concrete steps forward.

In February, the forestry administration also imposed a one-year ban on the import of carved ivory items acquired after July 1, 1975. The ban affects ivory acquired after the start of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

The administration said it is evaluating the ban and would consider extending it.

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