Friday, 10 August 2018

Legal EU ivory sales 'condemn elephants'



By Matt McGrathEnvironment correspondent
10 July 2018

The open, legal sale of antique ivory in many European countries is covering up a trade in illegal and recently poached ivory, campaigners say.

Researchers from environmental group Avaaz bought 100 ivory items and had them radiocarbon dated at Oxford University.

Three quarters were modern ivory, being sold illegally as fake antiques.

Ivory from an elephant killed by poachers as recently as 2010 was among the items passed off as being antique.

"It's sick," said Bert Wander from Avaaz, which organised the purchase of the items.

"I'm looking at the trinkets we bought on my desk, and to think that an elephant with all the things we are learning about them, about their cognition and their advanced societies, and to think that one of them has died for this bracelet I'm holding now, it makes you sick to your stomach."

The items were purchased from both antique dealers and private sellers in 10 countries across Europe.

All the ivory pieces were advertised as originating from before 1947 or had no date information. The 1947 date is important because the EU classes ivory from before this date as antique and it can be traded without restriction.



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