BANGKOK – Singapore authorities announced on Monday a total ban on the domestic trade in ivory, weeks after seizing almost nine tons of African elephant tusks.
The move, which will come into force in September 2021 and on the recommendation of the National Parks Board, is aimed at resolving the fight against the illegal trade in species registered under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), according to an official statement.
Although the city-state adopted the ban on international trade in ivory in 1990, Singaporean businesses could sell objects made from elephant tusks if the pieces were imported before the date of the ban, which according to conservationists served as subterfuge for bringing illegal ivory into the market.
The latest regulation, however, will involve a total ban on the trade, without exceptions.
World Wildlife Fund’s CEO in Singapore, Maureen DeRooij, lauded the announcement as an important step to protect wildlife amid a decline in animal populations, which is an urgent sign to stop animal trafficking.
On July 23, Singapore seized a shipment from the Democratic Republic of the Congo carrying 8.8 tons of elephant tusks belonging to some 300 pachyderms – the largest seizure of ivory to date by local officials.