2014 Ivory Ban

RyanW

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I just received an email from one of my material vendors about some new info regarding items containing Ivory... Summary: Preban ivory (Raw or finished product) cannot be sold across state lines, Ancient Ivory trade has not been affected.

Here is a recent thread on BladeForums discussing this topic: http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showthread.php/1136526-U-S-Total-Ivory-Ban?highlight=Ivory+Ban

This is from their Site:

Ivory Ban February 11, 2014 - sales are still taking place as this has not yet been signed into place but this new regulation/law will be upon us in the very near future. Act accordingly.

Here is the new proposed regulation. There is no good solution to this or at least it looks that way: Ivory Ban February 11, 2014.

We have attempted to look at this in an orderly and logical fashion weighing all the options. Looking at this logically, the opposition is well organized, funded, has a huge lobby and international support.

The pro ivory lobby (which doesn’t exist) consists of no money, no friends in Washington and the 'Merry Wayne Patriots' (a band of cue makers in denial led by Thomas Wayne in Alaska who is better at shoveling snow than the crap he's trying to shovel with this issue). Put that against an Obama administration, a President who has a pen and a phone, health care rammed down our throats, a President who flew to California on 2/14/14 to pitch a 1 Billion dollar climate change ‘resilience fund’ in California amidst some of the coldest weather conditions throughout the USA to talk about climate change and you have your answer.

Yes, we see a strong possibility of working with and coming to a mutual, satisfactory and globally acceptable resolution. Yes, and we’ll see that the moment we see pigs flying.

Please don't get us wrong. We hope the regulation is reversed but it is our responsibility to advise all our clients and friends of the impending changes to the way we will all be doing business. We cannot hide from this fact. We cannot have message boards delete the truth. We cannot hide under our beds and hope it doesn't happen. And lastly, it's important that everyone knows what is going to happen to their ivory clientele, those holding valuable collections and those of us involved in the sale of legal pre ban ivory to artisans. This affects all of us in a detrimental manner and we need to get the word out to minimize any potential losses.

So what will ivory be worth? Your guess is as good as ours. However, we don't see a bright future. How can there be when the proposed regulation restricts anyone owning pre ban ivory from selling it across state lines. That eliminates 98% of the rest of your sales market within the USA. Obama is intending for all ivory to be worthless and therefore curtailing any demand whatsoever. He hasn't done a good job with anything but he sure is with this proposed regulation.

Will owning ivory objects be of any value? It's hard to say but we are sure there will be a market but it is going to be a wait and see market. Time will tell. Who wants to own ivory objects that are so restricted? More importantly than 'who' is why would you want to own something so restrictive? If you can answer 'the why' then you'll have the answer to the future worth of pre ban ivory.

Should I stash ivory? Why? To sell a restricted product within only one state? Do you see a huge demand in that state? If you think that an ivory object that now sells for $15 will command $200 within your state, then go for it. For all we know it very well may but we're not counting on it.

What are we doing? We can sum it up in one word - liquidating (ivory only). We do not want to own any pre ban ivory. The laws will be so restrictive that it will make it a nightmare keeping track of it all. Assuming it goes intrastate (commerce within ones own state) sellers will have to make sure every person they sell to resides within their own state. And, should any client get investigated for smuggling it out of any state, the innocent sellers certainly don't need the Feds looking down their throats even if they did sell it legally. Who needs that aggravation! Do you see where and why we're going with our decision. We don't want to be on the wrong side of history or the wrong side of the issue. Thinking that pre ban ivory sales will go on as usual after this fiasco, you need to get your head examined. Regardless what happens, pre ban ivory has a large black cloud hanging over it because of the current issue.

Regulation and Verification: Heaven only knows what documentation the Feds will require of anyone selling what is termed pre ban ivory. One thing is certain. If the Feds require it, guaranteed it will be 34 pages of documentation no one can satisfy.

We are not advocating doom and gloom but we are realists. The opposition has been mounting for decades and their time has come, the right time, the right political climate and with huge international support. Do you think Obama ordered the crushing of 6,000 lbs of confiscated ivory for everyone’s amusement?

Just in case anyone thinks the USA is not serious about enforcing their new regulations... we now have the lab to do it.

For all we know this can be part of Obama's jobs plan to create more federal jobs enforcing his new ivory regulations. Sounds far fetched but with the current administration, do you know which way is up?

By closing down its domestic ivory market, the United States helps the world tighten the noose on the illegal ivory trade. Other countries will follow.

So, you're still wondering how serious the USA Government is about this new regulation and do you think anyone is going to change it?

This new regulation has Obama's blessing and if anyone thinks they're going to change it, God bless them and good luck.

And lastly, does anyone think they're going to fight this: Wildlife Summit.

Do you think that anyone reading this can fight this fight against, the United States government, Obama, UK government, Prince of Wales, Duke of Cambridge, officials from around 50 countries, UK foreign secretary, William Hague, Prince William, Prince Charles, environment minister Lord de Mauley, prime minister David Cameron, African heads of state, from Chad, Gabon, Botswana and Tanzania, UK promised $16 million dollars to combat the ivory and rhino horn trade, naturalist Bill Oddie, Jackie Chan and former Chinese basketball star Yao Ming launching video's and just about every tree-hugger in the world plus the WWF and every other conservation and wilflife fund - you are absolutely MAD.

If you take exception to our scenario, that's fine as we all have our opinions. We believe it's over (+-). The best case is they will ban interstate ivory commerce and probably leave intrastate commerce with documentation, etc. I don't know how any products can survive demand and value when you eliminate 98% of the rest of the USA not to mention the hassle to own the damn thing in the first place whether it's a cue, knife handle, guitar, gun, or selling ivory parts to artisans.

We don't have all the answers but we do know that a new law or regulation will be passed and it will not be good no matter how it is passed. Absolutely no good can come from all this. What politician is a friend to pre ban ivory? More importantly what politician will stick their neck out in support of all the artisans, collectors and dealers livelihoods? The answer can be summed up in three words - not one politician.

Legally speaking, property rights come into play here. It's a strong challenge but regardless of the legalities of ownership, etc, it will be a more heavily regulated product regardless who challenges it and on what basis it is challenged. Make no mistake about that.

The world believes that selling pre ban ivory is nonsense and just a cover for selling illegally trafficked ivory. Legal or illegal, pre ban or not, they believe it's all the same. The opposition has rallied behind a poor, defenseless, loving and beautiful creature, namely the elephant. The public believes that ivory in any object is killing these beautiful creatures and therefore it must be stopped. We can go on and on and on. You cannot argue pro-ivory, pre ban ivory anymore.

Let's look at the bright side. The new regulations get enacted and opposition musters up $10 million, $20 million in legal defense. They fight for 2-3 years and they win. They won't get the regulation repealed but they may have it amended and.... with this dark cloud hanging over ivory for three years do you honestly think people will want to buy and sell the stuff after they fought and won?

Reality, in our humble opinion, it's over.

This has been our opinion. Who are we? We are one of if not the largest pre ban ivory tusk dealers in the USA buying and selling pre ban tusks to investors and collectors within the USA. We also talk to all artisans, gun makers, knife makers, instrument makers, cue makers and we also get the hate mail that goes along with the territory. The world view and the general consensus is that all ivory should be banned and you can no longer rationalize it nor defend it regardless of the pre ban truth. No one wants to hear it. It’s an unpopular side to be on and the opponents of ivory are on the right side of the issue and history.
 
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WELL RYAN AREN'T YOU JUST THE BEARER OF DOOM AND GLOOM. WELL I AM HERE OT TELL YOU THAT THERE IS A UNITED FRONT FIGHTING THIS. AND IN FACT I AM one of the people HEADING WASHINGTON TO ADDRESS THE COUNCIL ON WILDLIFE TRAFFICKING ON THURSDAY 3/20/2014. IT'S NOT A DONE DEAL . WITH AN ATTITUDE LIKE THAT THOUGH I WANT TO ASK IF MAYBE YOU ARE WORKING FOR THEIR SIDE? CAUSE YOU AREN'T DOING ANY ONE ANY FAVOR BY HAVING SUCH AN ATTITUDE. IF EVERYONE JUST LAYS DOWN AND TAKES IT YOU CAN EXPECT THIS GOVERNMENT TO CONTINUE TO HAND IT OUT. These new "rules" are an infringement on our 5th and 14 amendment rights and you can bet there will be a fight. NRA , Kniferights and SCI are among the groups who are in on the fight. and if we can rally knife makers, and pool cue makers ( I don't agree with your opinion about Thomas Wayne) then the fight will have an even better chance. I'll be reporting on the meeting on my FB page, and to my customers and anyone else interested in standing up for their rights. I am sure it won't include you though. you aren't even willing to try.
 

RyanW

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Well aren't you the epitome of bedside manner.

If you had read more carefully this is all I said: "I just received an email from one of my material vendors about some new info regarding items containing Ivory... Summary: Preban ivory (Raw or finished product) cannot be sold across state lines, Ancient Ivory trade has not been affected."

You need to get your Caps Lock fixed and stop yelling at me on this forum. I am guessing you are in the business and have money to make in the ivory trade. As with everything there are two sides of the story and I personally prefer to hear both and make my decision based on all the facts. I was merely quoting a message I got in an Email.

Who do you work for?
Sincerely
Ryan
 
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The ivory seller you reference is Joe "Barringer", well known dealer for pool cue parts and supplier of ivory to that and other industries. I put his name in quotes because there is some rumor that is a pseudonym (I don't know one way or the other). What we DO know is he got himself in trouble with the feds a while back over some kind of illegal ivory deal. There have been many rumors about the outcome of that case, but there seems to be some belief that he had to turn over all his customer information and basically become a snitch for the feds to keep himself out of the joint. Again, this is just rumor, but he doesn't seem to have gone to jail or lost his business, so who knows...

Not sure why he has a hard-on for me, but if the above rumors are true then he obviously would have a very good reason for wanting ivory sales outlawed - he'd finally be out from under the government thumb, snitch-wise speaking. As for our efforts to fight this proposed unconstitutional regulation, there are thousands - perhaps tens of thousands - of citizens offended by what the government is trying to do and we are making an organized and concerted effort to put a stop to it. If anyone from the knife community wants to contact me I will be happy to put them in touch with those who can help them organize in a similar manner.

TW
 

RyanW

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Thanks for Posting Thomas, I don't know you, Sandra or Joe... But if you want to share you opinion here that is great. Sandra obviously misunderstood the above words as my opinion, and attacked me. I have used "Legal" Ivory on a few knives and do not agree with a ban. It seems like another issue of the Government not being able to do their job.

Here is a larger group discussing this here on BladeForums if you want to help spread the word of your intention to fight:
http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showthread.php/1136526-U-S-Total-Ivory-Ban?highlight=Ivory+Ban
 
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You are right Ryan,, I did think the statements were yours. I apologize for that. it was late and I was tired. And I keep hitting the caps lock. I get so frustrated with it by the end of the day that i quit fixing it. And yes I was a little hot about the comments made. They are lacking facts, and the person writing that is pretty full of themselves. I will say though I think it is not responsible of you to repeat stuff without a little fact finding of your own. Especially when it belittles others, who you stated you don't even know. We all have to be a little more careful these days with the information we pass on. Sorrry again, I should also have read more carefully.
 

RyanW

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Sandra & Thomas, thanks for the Facebook conversation. As I stated in the message I think we are on the same team and started off on the wrong foot. The reason I post stuff like Joe's message here is so that people can see other peoples opinions. Joe definitely has a dog in this fight as do you. You are free to post your feelings and source info here as well. We cannot get the whole story from you or Joe alone..

I have a recent business deal with Joe (Ordered 2 Ivory Scales on Feb 17th) that is apparently going sour. I paid with my VISA and have not had any returned emails after multiple attempts until this morning and they were both rude. Even though he is responding quickly refuses to answer the phone. I will be disputing the CC Charge and apparently he has decided to give up on his business and customers. I don't know Joe personally but based on how he is treating me while he has my money is very telling.

I will Be sending a link to this thread to Joe so that he can defend himself if that is what he is interested in doing.
... Ryan
 

RyanW

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Well this was the last message I got from Joe after asking to refund the money or ship the scales today (Assuming 33 days was enough time to process the order)

Ryan…

You obviously have me confused with someone who give a shit. Maybe you can get some of the pinheads to not place orders. As far as your money – I DO NOT HAVE IT. This is the result of placing an order through paypal. They have your money; not me. Get that through your thick skull. Call them to release the funds and your order is not going out today. Have a nice day.

--
Kind regards,

Joe
386-424-0355
 

RyanW

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haha I think that is a programmed signature they are on all his emails... Funny thing is I paid with a Visa card not PayPal. I told him that a few times as well, guess it is time to dispute the charge.
 
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haha I think that is a programmed signature they are on all his emails... Funny thing is I paid with a Visa card not PayPal. I told him that a few times as well, guess it is time to dispute the charge.

Yea Im just being a smart arse :D

Those emails should be enough to dispute your charge.
 
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The ivory seller you reference is Joe "Barringer", well known dealer for pool cue parts and supplier of ivory to that and other industries. I put his name in quotes because there is some rumor that is a pseudonym (I don't know one way or the other). What we DO know is he got himself in trouble with the feds a while back over some kind of illegal ivory deal. There have been many rumors about the outcome of that case, but there seems to be some belief that he had to turn over all his customer information and basically become a snitch for the feds to keep himself out of the joint. Again, this is just rumor, but he doesn't seem to have gone to jail or lost his business, so who knows...

Not sure why he has a hard-on for me, but if the above rumors are true then he obviously would have a very good reason for wanting ivory sales outlawed - he'd finally be out from under the government thumb, snitch-wise speaking. As for our efforts to fight this proposed unconstitutional regulation, there are thousands - perhaps tens of thousands - of citizens offended by what the government is trying to do and we are making an organized and concerted effort to put a stop to it. If anyone from the knife community wants to contact me I will be happy to put them in touch with those who can help them organize in a similar manner.

TW


First, Id like to reply to you Ryan - you paid with paypal or a paypal card and they hold your funds until we claim it as was explained to you. This case is closed. If you don't want to purchase from us, so be it.

Will someone please notify Sandra Brady and Thomas Wayne about my replies as I don't need to hide nor post defamatory comments without the person's knowledge such as they have done. I have nothing to hide from and am not afraid of the other party knowing of my post unlike the aforementioned.

Sandra...
I think you live in a world of make believe. Anyone, anyone who believes you can win at poker when the dealer has a marked deck is just a moron. The deck is and was stacked against all of us. It was foolish to believe otherwise. I'm not saying not to fight but the fight is in the court system and not in front of the very people who are making regulations. That's ridiculous. Nothing you nor Wayne are doing, have done or can do will change anything. The bottom-line as I predicted is that the regulation is now in full force with it taking place on June 26, 2014 - a few days away. I was correct with everything we posted on our web site and you and your followers were wrong. The fight is in the court system and we do believe all these regulations may in fact be overturned and clarified. Please read the report on the June 9th advisory council meeting that you attended and were shut down on. Yes, Sandra - they didn't want to hear you nor what the other pompous a-hole that you were representing (Warther) had to say. You were "denied permission" to speak; period! Don't you get it! No one is interested in what you nor anyone else has to say about the pro-ivory stance. The regulation has been set in stone months ago and all they are doing is going through the channels to do what is necessary to enact the regulation. Geesh!

And now for my buddy Tom Wayne -- you pompous pinhead. I do not have a "hard on" for you nor anyone. What I wrote was tongue-in-cheek; it was written jokingly. Are you so full of yourself that you can't take a joke; obviously not. Unlike you, I have a very thick skin and have weathered every storm that anyone can throw at me including your lies, defamation and innuendo.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we were raided by the Feds in 2007 by over 40 federal agents at our home, offices and shop. Our business continued as usual the following day up to this day uninterrupted. It was not a big deal as we were expecting them at some point; in fact, we surprised them with how un-surprised we were. We had nothing to hide and so much documentation that they were in fact the ones who were surprised. We were raided the same as other ivory dealers were raided from 2004 through 2010 including Gibson guitar and Atlas Billiard supply. Oh yes, Atlas Billiard Supply, those honest, ethical, pillars of the community were found guilty of shipping ivory out of the country 160 times and were fined over $160k for their part in their illegal ivory activity. In fact, David Warther knew of all this as he was their supplier. I don't need to expound on all that and where that went. However, with us and after a 3 year investigation it was determined that all our ivory which was confiscated was in fact, very legal. To go one step further, they (the Feds) agreed and stated that all our ivory was legal. I did plead to a misdemeanor of, get this, not having a permit to ship 3 pool cues out of the country. It was nothing more and this is common knowledge but you chose to write what you did because of your flawed character. Despite what you and others constantly try to do because of our vocal stance, is try to denigrate us to no avail. Our business has grown yearly and we continue to thrive in all our businesses; very much unlike you who bottom feeds for a buck.

Additionally, no one, especially me was ever nor will ever be a "snitch". I'm going to show you how assassin your statement truly is. It is common knowledge that we are one of the largest ivory dealers in the country and that we supply ivory to most of the cue makers who matter. It doesn't take anyone to 'snitch' to inform the Feds who our clients are; just google 'ivory cues' and you'll have your list. The Feds didn't need me for that. Why don't you go back to sending out defamatory SPAM emails. Get a life dude -- I believe eBay sells them on occasion. Go buy one.

What you wrote was just a cheap shot and proves my point that you stooped to being lower than whale crap at the bottom of the ocean; a place very fitting for a slime-ball such as yourself.

And lastly, in the next post is the report from the June 9 Advisory Council Meeting Recap
 
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June 9 Advisory Council Meeting Recap (written by Rob Mitchell, attorney)

The Advisory Council on Wildlife Trafficking held its third public meeting in Washington DC yesterday, June 9 from 1-5 PM. Unlike the prior meeting, this one was not recorded on video, so the Council will not be posting video of what happened at this meeting on its website. In this e-mail, I’ll summarize the meeting, emphasizing key points raised along with associated public comments offered to inform or rebut assertions made by the Council and USFWS.

David Hayes, the Council Vice-Chair, explained that the Council was obligated to meet in public and discuss the recommendations they would make to the Presidential Task Force – a.k.a., the White House – at the conclusion of this meeting. Hayes acknowledged that he had a document with 19 recommendations that the Council would propose, and he blamed lawyers for not printing out those recommendations in advance so the public could look at them as the Council discussed them. Instead, the Council took turns reading the recommendations aloud and then briefly discussing them. After each brief discussion, the Vice-Chair confirmed the “consensus” of the council for each recommendation. This process lasted at least 2 hours. The full text of all 19 recommendations were posted on the Advisory Council website after the meeting (click here for the text).

The Council did not discuss the 19 recommendations in order, but they did start with the first recommendation - Take Steps to Increase the Number of Significant Wildlife Trafficking Prosecutions in the U.S. and Seek More Serious Punishment for Such Crimes. The Council’s John Webb complained that “the United States prosecutes relatively few wildlife traffickers and the penalties imposed for violators are the lowest of all of the 32 so-called “primary offense” categories tracked by the Sentencing Commission.” He said there were only about 100 prosecutions a year, which was down from over 200 prosecutions during “peak years.” He acknowledged that there were major undercover investigations currently underway (under existing law), but said there needed to be more emphasis on prosecution and punishment without offering any evidence that there was any increase or significant illicit ivory trade going on in the United States. Council Member Patrick Bergin (African Wildlife Foundation CEO) emphasized that there needs to be more prosecutions in the United States to “set an example” for other countries where wildlife trafficking is prevalent. The Council indicated concurrence with Bergin's statement and advanced to the next recommendation..

The next recommendation (number 3 on their list) was for the Interior Department to Continue To Take Administrative Steps to Tighten and Clarify The U.S. Restrictions On Commercial Trade in Ivory and Rhino Horn. They continued to characterize trade in pre-ban ivory as a “loophole” that needed to be closed. They also urged USFWS

“to work with the regulated community and provide non-burdensome permit approvals for non-commercial import and export of products that contain ivory (e.g., orchestra instruments that contain ivory; traveling exhibitions to and from accredited museums, etc.), and for clear and reasonable burden of proof standards that qualify ivory products as “antiques” that are exempt from the Endangered Species Act. The Council also urges FWS to identify and foster donation (e.g., to a museum), disposal and other options that are available to individuals who possess ivory or rhino horn products that cannot be traded commercially.”

The Council clearly wanted to give the impression that it was listening to the ivory community and reacting accordingly. However, the only changes it appeared to be sensitive to were noncommercial uses of ivory and some lip service paid to antiques. It was clear that museum interests got to Council Member Cristian Samper, CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Society & former director of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. At Samper’s request, the council added the language about fostering “donation (e.g., to a museum), disposal and other options” of ivory that cannot be traded commercially. As the meeting progressed, it became increasingly obvious that each of the council members sought through these recommendations to secure federal financing and support for measures that would directly benefit each of their agencies and organizations.

The discussion shifted from Enforcement to Legal Reform. They once again recommended amending the law to make wildlife trafficking violations subject to prosecution under

1. The Travel Act, 18 USC 1952
2. The Money Laundering Statute, 18 USC 1956
3. RICO, 18 USC 1961-68 AND
4. The Federal Wiretap Statute, 18 USC 2516

The Wiretap Statue addition was new from the last meeting. The Council added it so USFWS and other investigative agencies had greater power to investigate suspected wildlife traffickers (as if the government needs any more access to law abiding citizens’ private communications)!

The Council also wants Federal Restitution authorities to apply to Wildlife Trafficking Offenses. This was discussed in the Council’s prior meeting, but unlike last time, they conveniently omitted the discussion about how this proposal would result in a slush fund for government agencies and NGOs when the country of origin of a specimen subject to enforcement could not be identified.

The Council decided at the meeting to send a letter to Senators Diane Feinstein (D-CA) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) asking them to co-sponsor legislation that would initiate these changes. It is a safe bet that these two senators have already been working on drafts of this legislation.

The balance of the Council’s presentation and recommendations dealt with getting other agencies and private entities on board with their plan, building a marketing campaign, and specific measures to “reduce demand.” Examples are
⦁ Get DOD to offer equipment and training to fight poachers & disrupt trade
⦁ Involve UN, other diplomatic efforts, and other transnational crime efforts in wildlife trafficking issues
⦁ Involve private sector entities like auction houses and search engines in “voluntary codes of conduct to fight wildlife trafficking”
⦁ Tailor marketing campaigns (including social marketing) to discourage commercial ivory use and other wildlife trade
⦁ Suck up money from all available sources, including philanthropists, and assert government control over how the money is spent to better direct the use of resources in accordance with the government’s strategy

For more specifics, you should review the recommendations as stated on their website.

Next Steps

The Council intends to present these recommendations immediately to the Task Force (White House). They expect the Administration to consider the recommendations and act upon them. Near term, they hope to see action in August to coincide with a scheduled meeting with African nations in Washington. This is likely when USFWS would like to publish its changes to 50 CFR 17.40(3), the Special Rule for African Elephants under the Endangered Species Act, and it is through that regulation that they would likely implement changes to ban domestic trade of ivory. (Note: publication would be followed by a public comment period, so regulations would not be final/enforceable until after that period, if at all).

Public Comments

I counted 24 different presenters, 15 of which were critical of the ivory ban in varying degrees. Because of the number of speakers, they only had 2 minutes each, and some were cut off abruptly.

The first speaker was from the Clinton Foundation expressing support for the Council and acknowledging that many members on the Council were members of the Foundation. The speaker didn’t want to leave any doubt about Hillary Clinton’s involvement in this effort.

Edmund Davidson (Knife Maker), Ana Seidman (Safari Club Legal Counsel), Denise Nelson (Antique Appraiser), Doug Ritter (Knife Rights), Heather Noonan (League of American Orchestras), Jeffrey Klotz (Netsuke Owner), John Leydon (Cane Collector), Linda Karst Stone (Scrimshander), John Bennet (Amer Fed of Violin & Bow Makers), Matt Eckert (Deputy Director Conservation for SCI), Michael Green (Amer Inst of Pipe & Organ Builders), William Perlstein (for Antique Dealers), Rob Mitchell (Me),Joe Kirsten (Netsuke Collector) and CAMPFIRE all spoke. Sandra Brady tried to present comments on behalf of David Warther who had been given permission to speak and could not attend, but the Council denied her the chance to present Warther’s statement.

I was able to capture statements from Sandra Brady, Linda Karst Stone and me on my iPhone. I have not had a chance to review the video and suspect that only the audio will be useable. In the future I’ll use what I can to convey a sense of what transpired at the meeting.

For a link to all of the written comments that were sent to the Advisory Council prior to the meeting, click here.

I’m not going to summarize each of the presentations against the ivory ban. Each emphasized in different ways that
⦁ The proposed ivory ban does not stop poaching in Africa
⦁ The ban imposes crippling losses on people who have legally traded in ivory and/or whose businesses depend on legal ivory already in the US or is tradable internationally under existing law
⦁ The ban and related efforts are likely to exacerbate poaching in Africa by ignoring local realities with communities that host elephant populations
⦁ The ban is already responsible for destruction of culturally significant items and threatens greater destruction of a wide range of items and music for no good reason

Of particular note, Communities Area Management Programme For Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE), a highly respected conservation group from Zimbabwe, was given the final 10 minutes to make a presentation to the Council. While CAMPFIRE was focused on the harm that USFWS’s recent suspension of sport-hunting elephants in Africa would cause for conservation efforts, their presentation dovetailed extremely well with what prior speakers said about the ineffectiveness of a domestic ivory ban on poaching activities. CAMPFIRE emphasized the dominant role that sport hunting elephants brings to local African communities, and without that activity, local communities would not have the resources nor the interest in stopping elephant poaching. The worst thing that could be done to elephant populations is to eliminate the commercial value of elephants to people in Africa. Without scientifically based conservation measures, both elephants and people in Africa will suffer dire consequences. Likewise, the arbitrary devaluation or ban of ivory hurts everyone, including the elephants.

Thus concluded the meeting.
 
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