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© Taiwan Forestry Bureau/Focus Taiwan

Sourced from third-party site: Focus Taiwan, written by Yang Shu-min and Elizabeth Hsu

The Forestry Bureau announced Tuesday that it is working to revise regulations concerning wildlife conservation so that a solid ban can be put into force in 2020 against trade in ivory in Taiwan.

The only exception to the ban is that individuals will be allowed to keep ivory only if they possess documentation that proves the products have been legally acquired, the bureau said in a statement.

Taiwan imposed amendments to the Wildlife Conservation Act in 1994 that prohibit trade and public display of ivory unless in recognised special circumstances, said Hsia Jung-sheng, head of the bureau’s conservation division.

At that time, however, in the light of the fact that there were still many local art dealers and seal makers dependent on ivory and who kept a lot of stock, the government took transitional measures to allow trade in declared ivory with the permission of the supervisory authorities, Hsia noted.

With the passage of the years, however, the demand for ivory has decreased greatly and the concept of wildlife conservation has become more and more widespread in the country. After assessing the current situation, the bureau believes it is now time to put the ban on the ivory trade into solid effect, the official explained.

The latest action was taken in response to the international community’s call for saving the African elephant, after a United Nations report in 2016 indicated that the number of African elephants living in the wild has dropped by some 20 percent, from 508,000 head in 2006 to 415,000 head, Hsia said.

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