State law banning ivory sales won’t save elephants

Illegal ivory sales

State law won’t save elephants

I read the recent article about the arrest and conviction of Mr Rooney for selling some ivory figurines and the confiscation of his ivory collection (“Everett ivory seller jailed in first conviction under new law,” The Herald, Nov. 17). What a waste of taxpayers money. If you confiscated and destroyed all the ivory netsuke carvings, ivory handled silverware and old pianos in the state, it wouldn’t save one elephant’s life.

What we need is a federal ban on the importation of new ivory. New ivory being defined as ivory less than 100 years old, about twice the lifespan of an elephant. Carbon dating of imports could be made at the importers’ expense.

Once we have our ban in place, we could urge or persuade other nations, particularly Japan, to enact similar bans. Russia might help in promoting the ban on elephant ivory as they are an exporter of woolly mammoth ivory from Siberia. The only way to eliminate elephant poaching in Africa and save the elephant from extinction is to destroy the market for new ivory.

U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen could make a name for himself “The man who saved the elephants” by introducing and promoting a federal ban on the importation of new ivory. Maybe the ban should also include walrus ivory, as walruses will be the next target of ivory poachers.

Jack E. Sceva


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