The NY Times says this about the sale of ivory:
It is a question never easily resolved: Can the trade in ivory ever be conducted in a way that protects elephants from poachers? Or is it simply too naive to assume that poachers will not always find a conduit – legal or illegal – to market their wares?
Well, it could be easily resolved by continuing to leave the trade illegal and by heavily prosecuting poachers. But that’s not what Namibia is doing. The southern African nation will be holding four legally authorized ivory markets, the first of which is today. Nations such as China and Japan have 108 metric tons of ivory to purchase and choose from.
The United Nations approves of this sale, so long as it only occurs once every nine years. Although the UN specifies that the revenues made during the sale “must be used exclusively for elephant conservation and community development programs within or adjacent to the elephant range,” it would seem to be a better plan to not allow ivory trading at all.
The International Fund for Animal Welfare has released a shocking statistic: that the amount of ivory to be sold in this legal sale is equivalent to “10,000-plus dead elephants.”
Although the elephant population in African has grown in recent years, the ivory trade continues to pose a threat to their safety. After ivory became a economically viable trade, the elephant population shrunk from in the millions to around 600,000. Eventually an international ban on ivory sales was put in place, but the trade continued to hurt elephants, and the animals quickly became endangered.
Luckily, a little progress was made when eBay decided to no longer sell ivory through it’s website. Now if they would just stop selling fur and leather.