3 thoughts on “The uncomfortable economics of the ivory trade”

  1. Posted 22/05/2017 at 15:12 | Permalink

    There is also the possibility of taking real ivory tusks from live elephants (and horns from rhinos) and replacing them with artificial ones, functionally identical, but perhaps made to appear fake.

  2. Posted 12/11/2017 at 07:44 | Permalink

    Statistics directly contradict the assertion that a legal ivory trade would lead to reduced poaching. Following the initial international ban on ivory (which lasted nine years before exemptions began being made), the African elephant population stabilised and the price of ivory went into decline because many people stopped buying it. Companies which specialised in carving ivory were forced to shut down due to this massive decrease in demand. It was only in 1999, following the first exemption (a sale of stockpiled ivory to Japan), that the price of ivory increased once more and poaching became ‘worthwhile’, as during the ban it was more difficult to export illegal ivory.
    Legal trade makes it easier to get illegally-poached ivory into markets (the largest being in China and Hong Kong). The only way to prevent poaching on the economic front is to introduce a blanket ban on all products, as this makes it more difficult to launder poached ivory and therefore less profitable and a less worthwhile risk for poachers.

  3. Posted 05/08/2020 at 07:47 | Permalink

    Unfortunately the UK government went in for gesture politics after all. The failure to learn from past mistakes pursuing the nirvana of prohibition spells doom for the world’s elephants.

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