Elephants In The Dust


Ivory market surveys in the past ten years have shown that Germany and the UK have relatively large markets, while France, Portugal, Spain, Italy and Belgium have small markets (Martin and Stiles 2005; Knapp and Affre 2007; Martin and Martin 2009). Most of the ivory sold in these markets was pre-ban and thus legal, although some illegal ivory was found, imported after 1990 mainly from East Asia and Africa. The ETIS reports show that small to modest amounts of illegal raw and worked ivory are seized in European countries (Milliken et al. 2012). The Interna- tional Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) has signalled that illegal ivory activity is worrisome both in the UK and on the Internet, and that further monitoring is warranted (IFAW 2004; 2007).

In 1997, the European Union passed legislation that made the domestic working and sale of ivory legal in all member coun- tries, if EU regulations were satisfied (Martin and Stiles 2005). Up until the 1980s, Europe was one of the largest importers and manufacturers of ivory in the world. Following the CITES ivory trade ban however, demand for new ivory fell significantly as a result of greater consumer awareness about the harm that the ivory industry caused to elephants. The ivory antiques market is still strong, however, particularly in the UK, which predominates in both the import and export of ivory (Martin and Stiles 2005).

A century ago this shop in Paris claimed to be the largest ivory outlet in the world, symbolizing Europe’s importance as an importer, manufacturer and consumer of ivory.


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