NewsInternationalIllegal ivory trade seen booming in the EU


Illegal ivory trade seen booming in the EU

By Reuters

80 pieces of illegal ivory tested as part of an Avaaz study are displayed in front of the EU Commission, together with a life-sized model of an elephant, to call for a ban on the ivory trade in Europe on Tuesday, July 10, 2018, in Brussels. Photo: Olivier Matthys/AP/SIPAIn spite of a ban, illegal ivory trading is still flourishing in the European Union, as traders use a loophole allowing for the exchange of antique pieces. 

Huge stockpiles of ivory have gone up in smoke across Africa in recent years, in a bid to protect animals from poachers.

It's all part of a global crackdown on the illegal ivory trade.

But environmental group Avaaz say dealers are breezing past EU laws, with trade flourishing between member states.

Trading antique ivory - meaning it was obtained before 1947 - is still legal in the EU.

Cover up the illegal market

Avaaz say this provision is allowing traders to cover up the illegal market.

It sent more than 100 samples from 10 EU countries for carbon testing.

As much as 75% of them turned out to be modern ivory disguised as antiques.

Campaigners say that is fuelling the market and incentivizing the killing of elephants and rhinos.

The European Parliament admitted last month that illegally poached ivory often makes its way into the legal market, it called for a blanket ban on ivory trading within the bloc.

Such policies already in effect or planned in China, the United States and the UK.

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