There is a pretty easy solution to this problem, make all international sales of
ivory items over 50 years old illegal again.The problem isn't
China's growing middle class it's that because a certain amount of
ivory can be legally taken, all ivory is sold as legit, when in fact only about
10 to 20% of ivory sales are legal.The world clearly is not ready
for any legal ivory trade.
@byronbcaHas outlawing drugs stopped their flow? No. It simply
increases the demand which increases the price and the willingness of
black-market sellers to take more risk. Poachers are shot on sight in some
elephant preserves and that hasn't stopped the poaching because the price
on the black market makes the risk worth taking. We need to flood
the market with legal ivory; ivory obtained from elephants that die of natural
causes. Stop burning tons of confiscated ivory. Sell it to fund security
operations. Why not encourage businesses to breed elephants for ivory and meat,
thus giving an economic incentive to encourage elephant husbandry? Hunters pay
enormous prices to hunt elephants. That money could be used for enforcement,
scientific experimentation with artificial insemination, habitat development and
more. Many species have recovered through wise wildlife management, which
always includes making animals available to hunters. Poaching needs to be
reduced through wise economic planning; not emotional knee-jerking that only
benefits the black market.
"......world's largest LAND mammals."
Re TumbleweedOn July 15 2008, China was given "buyer
approved" status which meant it could once again legally import ivory into
the country. This legalization of the ivory trade in China is directly
responsible for the uptick in poaching. Make it illegal again and poaching will
decrease just like last time they made it illegal.It worked the
first time, I see no reason why it wont work again.
@Tumbleweed - Some African countries already use hunting as a means to prevent
poaching. They give the right to issue hunting licenses to local tribes/villages
with the notion that if a poacher kills an elephant, it's lost money to the
tribe (which usually charge around $10K+ for a permit.) I don't
think elephant farming would be a practical solution though since most people
aren't going to commit the time/effort/money it would take. Elephants need
A LOT of space to roam, individuals literally require tons of food and elephants
are VERY intelligent and emotional creatures; they don't fair well in
captivity. Plus, elephant gestation is 22 months long, so you'd have to
keep a large and consistently breeding herd to keep your population at a level
capable of meeting market demand.