China Is Getting Rid Of Its Ivory Trade

China's domestic ivory trade will be phased out by the end of 2017, according to a new government order.
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China Is Getting Rid Of Its Ivory Trade

China's government says it's finally getting rid of the country's ivory trade once and for all.

The international ivory trade was banned in 1989, but China has one of the largest domestic markets left in the world. The country's now planning to phase out all ivory processing and sales by the end of 2017.

That's important for conservationists because legal ivory markets often fuel demand for poaching and the illegal ivory trade.

And poaching is still devastating elephant populations in Africa. The Great Elephant Census estimated the African elephant population dropped 30 percent from 2007 to 2014, to around 350,000 elephants.

Similar blanket bans on ivory trading were adopted this year by the U.S. and Hong Kong, two major markets for legal and illegal ivory trade.