It has been discovered that as much as 90 percent of all ivory traded in China is illegal, prompting a call to place a complete ban on the ivory trade. Although elephants are intelligent and emotional creatures, the Chinese view of ivory as a status symbol and the increase in consumer demand places elephants in danger of being wiped out. The Asian elephant is listed as endangered, while the African elephant is listed as vulnerable.
There are a number of types of ivory, which are legal in China, which includes antique ivory and mammoth ivory. In the United Kingdom, the only ivory which is legal is antique ivory dated before 1947. A meeting will be held in Geneva this week of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) to look at the ivory trade.
According to a report released by the NGO Elephant Family, the illegal ivory is mostly smuggled from Africa, as relatively small demand exists for ivory there. In 2009, record numbers of seized illegal ivory took place according to the Environmental Investigation Agency. Esmond Martin, who co wrote the report would like to see antique ivory and mammoth ivory kept separately to new ivory, which must be clearly CITES certified. However, Mary Rice of the EIA, wants to see the trade and sale of all ivory products stopped, as it is difficult to distinguish illegal ivory from legal ivory.
There are a number of regulations in place for the trade of antiques, whether antique ivory or antique desks. For advice on regulations and buying legitimate antiques, Preston has a host of expert antiques dealers to help.
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