As some of you know, and more of you need to know, the Presidential Advisory Committee is planning to recommend a total ban on the sale of ALL ivory in the United States. Not a ban on new import, but a ban on ALL IVORY (this includes mammoth, boar, warthog, etc) in ALL FORMS (jewelry, knives, pistol grips, musical instruments, etc).
I DO NOT SUPPORT THIS.
I know some of you are thinking "yay for banning ivory" thinking that it will help save elephants. That's really not the case. Banning ivory that was harvested generations ago, ivory that comes from extinct animals, and ivory from non-threatened sources like warthogs, does NOTHING to help elephant. Enforcing this will take funds away from stopping the killing of elephants AT THE SOURCE IN AFRICA.
On top of that, it'll put people like me out of business. Do you like what I do? So do I, I'd hate to lose the ability to do what I do.
PLEASE join me in emailing ACWT@FWS.GOV before December 28th when they file their report. I'll copy a letter below here that has been posted on the engraving forum. If nothing else, copy and paste it, sign your name on it, and sent it off. Or modify it to suit you. Or write your own. But please I am asking for your help. I love elephants, but banning the sale of pre-existing ivory is NOT helping them.
Dear Advisory Committee,
I stand against a total ban of all ivory sales in the US.
As called for in the Presidential Executive Order I ask that the recommendations continue to allow for "legal and legitimate commerce”.
The ivory market in the US is stable and /or declining, and the seizure records indicate that a high proportion of the seizures made were personal effects lacking the correct paperwork, not the “blood tusks “ spoken about in the media. The Elephant Trade Information System (ETIS) analysis indicated that the amount of ivory (by weight) seized annually has not increased in recent years. WE are not the consumers of the poached ivory. Therefore banning ivory sales within the US will do nothing to save the remaining world population of elephants.
CITES MIKE report (Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants) September 2013 report, page 64 analysis states "Africa's elephant populations are managed sustainably" and that in 2013 the quota for permits for legal elephants was 1350 animals. There is legal trade that can be monitored with DNA testing and permitting. Enforcing and policing a ban would use funds that should be used to support the ban on imports already in effect.
I fully support the CITES rules, closing international borders to elephant ivory trade, a law already in effect that should be fully supported and enforced. I stand against a total ban of all ivory commerce within our United States borders, a decision that would be an enforcement nightmare. Like prohibition it will cause a new wave of illicit commerce where a legitimate one now exists. Museums, antique dealers, collectors, artisans and individual citizens have invested in a legal and valuable material. Sanctioned trade in ivory that is legal (culled and pre-ban) and comes from unthreatened sources (mammoth, boar, warthog, antique and recycled products) can pose no possible threat to elephant herds in the wild.
I believe our mutual goals are the same and a solution can be reached. Please keep the focus where it belongs. To increase the elephant population the killing must be stopped in Africa and at its borders.