Breaking! On World Elephant Day, Singapore Announces Ban On Domestic Trade Of Elephant Ivory Beginning In 2021; It Should Start Now!

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Positive news from Singapore on this World Elephant Day as it announces that a ban on the domestic trade in elephant ivory will be implemented beginning on September 1, 2021.

As per the National Parks Board (NParks), the ban will mean that the sale of elephant ivory and ivory products, and public display of elephant ivory and ivory products for the purpose of sale will be prohibited in Singapore. This nationwide ban highlights Singapore’s resolve in the fight against the illegal trade in species listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

“It is timely that we are announcing the domestic ban of trade in ivory on World Elephant Day. The national authority that enforces CITES in Singapore, NParks, is committed to stopping the trade of elephant ivory and its products for the conservation and protection of the world’s elephants,” Dr. Leong Chee Chiew, Director-General of Wildlife Trade Control, said in a statement. “This is aligned with the views shared by the community who are similarly concerned about the impact that trade in elephant ivory has on the animal’s population numbers.”

Once the ban comes into effect, those found to have offered ivory or ivory products for sale, or for public display for the purpose of sale, may be charged under the Endangered Species (Import & Export) Act, which carries a penalty of up to $10,000 per specimen, not exceeding $100,000 in total, and or up to 12 months imprisonment upon conviction.

Public display of elephant ivory or ivory products for educational or religious purposes will continue to be permitted. Similarly, those who own musical instruments and personal effects like bird cages that contain ivory may continue to use them in public.

WAN and Peace 4 Animals believe that there should be no exceptions and ivory should be banned for all purposes and products in Singapore and worldwide.

Under CITES, to which Singapore is a signatory, international trade in elephant ivory has been banned since 1990.

Since 2017, the Government has conducted extensive stakeholder engagements with the public, including non-government organizations and ivory retailers for their views and comments with regard to the blanket ban.

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