Singapore bans ivory trade after seizing 9 tonnes of elephant tusks
Workers load illegal ivory onto an excavator at an eco-waste incineration plant in Singapore, June 13, 2016. EPA-EFE/AZIZ HUSSIN EPA/AZIZ HUSSIN SINGAPORE OUT, EDITORIAL USE ONLY
British High Commissioner Scott Whiteman (L), Singapore Senior Minister of State for National Development and Home Affairs Desmond Lee (C) and and CEO of Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority Tan Poh Hong (R) look at stockpiles of confiscated illegal ivory designated to be destroyed at an eco-waste incineration plant in Singapore, June 13, 2016. EPA-EFE FILE/AZIZ HUSSIN EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Bangkok Desk, Aug 12 (efe-epa).- Singapore authorities on Monday announced a total ban on the domestic trade in ivory, weeks after seizing almost nine tonnes of African elephant tusks.
The move, which will come into force in Sep. 2021 and on the recommendation of the National Parks Board, is aimed at resolving the fight against the illegal trade in species registered under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), according to an official statement.
Although the city-state adopted the ban on international trade in ivory in 1990, Singaporean businesses could sell objects made from elephant tusks if the pieces were imported before the date of the ban, which according to conservationists served as subterfuge for bringing illegal ivory into the market.
The latest regulation, however, will involve a total ban on the trade, without exceptions.
World Wildlife Fund's CEO in Singapore, Maureen DeRooij, lauded the announcement as an important step to protect wildlife amid a decline in animal populations, which is an urgent sign to stop animal trafficking.
On July 23, Singapore seized a shipment from the Democratic Republic of the Congo carrying 8.8 tonnes of elephant tusks belonging to some 300 pachyderms — the largest seizure of ivory to date by local officials.