New United States Rules Restrict Domestic Trade In Ivory

On February 11, 2014 Bryan Christy wrote an article for National Geographic concerning the new Federal restrictions on the ivory trade. According to the article the new rules were written to create “a near complete ban” on the sale of African elephant ivory in in the United States as reported by Mr. Christy.

Two animals are at the forefront of this world wide problem with the poaching of elephants and rhinos and the illegal trade of wildlife and ivory.

The actions taken by the Federal government are in line with actions and laws taken by California and New York to name just a few states.

From Lydia Thompson who published an article on March 13, 2014 Old and New Rules for the Sale of Ivory we provide the California Law.

California Penal Laws 653o and 653p ban the sale, or possession with intent to sell of ivory, within the state or across state lines. The law reads as follows.

It is unlawful to import into this state for commercial purposes, to possess with intent to sell, or to sell within the state, the dead body, or any part or product thereof, of any polar bear, leopard, ocelot, tiger, cheetah, jaguar, sable antelope, wolf (Canius lupus) zebra, whale, cobra, python, sea turtle, colobus monkey, kangaroo, vicuna, sea otter, free-roaming feral horse, dolphin or porpoise (Delphinidae) Spanish lynx, or ELEPHANT.

The article then details the penalties for violating Penal Law 653o.

Please note that California Penal Law 653o has been on the books since 1970. but was unenforced until the early part of 2012. The article continues that the strict enforcement of this law prohibits the sale of all ivory objects whether antique or not. It recommends consulting with an attorney if you are contemplating the sale of some ivory objects (think of the keys on antique and old pianos, Steinway for instance). Click here for a link to the entire article by Lydia Thompson.

In an article published in the New York Times on June 20, 2014 by Tom Mashberg entitled Law to Impose Tough Limits on Sales of Ivory Art he discussed the new law by the New York Legislature and  passed. The article reports that the law bans almost all items containing elephant ivory, mammoth ivory, and rhinoceros horn.  Here is a link to the New York Times Article.

Here is a link to an article by The Associated Press also in the New York Times published less than a month ago about a Study Details Elephant Deaths. The article reports on the estimated  poaching of over 100,000 elephants between 2010 and 2012 from the increased demand for ivory by China and other Asian nations.

It is important when hiring an estate sale company or auction company that they are knowledgeable about the laws regarding the sale of a variety items to prevent all parties from being fined or otherwise penalized.

Although we have briefly discussed the federal law and the laws imposed in California and New York each state should be reviewed for their laws concerning the sale of ivory and wildlife.

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