NAPHA welcomes China's ivory trade ban

14 Jan 2017 10:50am
WINDHOEK, 14 JAN (NAMPA) - The Namibian Professional Hunting Association (NAPHA) has welcomed the decision by China to ban ivory trade and processing by the end of 2017.
The association’s vice president, Royston Wright told Nampa on Wednesday they hope the decision will be extended to other endangered wild species such as pangolin and rhinos.
“We greatly welcome the decision by the Chinese authorities and we support the endeavour, but we hope it will be vigorously monitored and policed when it is put into place,’’ he said.
Asked whether the planned embargo will have a major effect on the poaching of elephants.
Wright said the move will, however, decrease the amount of pressure placed on the elephant population.
He added that although poaching for ivory only plays a small role in the total number of elephant deaths, restricting the trade in ivory should be strongly policed to avoid the trade being done underground.
“The ban should be strongly policed to limit room of the market becoming lucrative and swept underground like with drug trafficking,” said Wright.
Last year, China’s official news agency Xinhua reported that the Chinese government will put an end to all domestic trade in ivory and processing by the end of 2017, a move described by activists as a potential ‘game changer’ for African elephants.
According to the Ministry of Environment and Tourism statistics released last year, 31 elephants were killed in the country during 2016 alone, bringing the total number of elephants killed for their ivory since 2015 to 80.