Government Will Close Legal Loophole That Allows Ivory To Be Trafficked In Australia
The Aussie government is working hard to stamp out any illegal ivory trading inside the country.
The first goal is getting rid of a legal loophole that has allowed the elephant tusk material to be traded because they're listed as 'antique' even though they've come from a freshly killed animal.
Environment Minister Sussan Ley made the announcement yesterday on World Elephant Day.
"We are also working to further strengthen regulations within Australia by working with states and territories on banning domestic trade of ivory and rhino horn," Ms Ley said in the statement to Yahoo News.
"By shutting down the market for these items here in Australia we'll help to better protect elephants and rhinos in their native habitats.
"I'd like to see such a ban in place, it will be something that I will take up at the next meeting of National Environment Ministers.
"There are state legislation issues to work through but it is something that I think we should pursue."
The number of ivory items coming into Australia has fluctuated over the years. In 2017, 24 items were seized by Border Control officers and last year there were 36 ivory items found.
The government has been under pressure from the For the Love of Wildlife organisation, which has been calling on Australia's leaders to be more passionate about the issue.
Founder Donalea Patman said in a statement that she also wants rhino horn to be banned from the country as well.
"Australia is geographically positioned and complicit in the illegal trade and it is time that we see a greater effort to combat trade," she said.
"It would seem that Australian laws are not fully enforced. Auction houses self-regulate and without enough officers in the field, there is a staggering rise in wildlife items for sale.
"This simply isn't good enough given 30 per cent of elephants have been wiped out in the last seven years and rhinos are being butchered on a daily basis.
"Lions are being farmed for hunting and to satisfy a growing demand for their bones."
Hopefully closing this legal loophole will mean the ivory trade in Australia is no longer profitable for traffickers.
Featured Image Credit: PA