New York State suspends elephant ivory sales

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A New York State environmental law passed from the legislature as of June 20 that all elephant ivory sales be banned, minus a few exceptions. The legislation has permanently banned all sales of elephant ivory as well as mammoth ivory and rhino horn.

Exceptions include objects that contain less than 20 per cent of elephant ivory by volume, which also need to be over 100 years old and prove it with documentation. This ensures that a large quantity of ivory objects, including antique American objects, be banned from being sold. First and second offenses will be subjected to fines.

“For the past twenty years, auctioneers and antique dealers have been licensed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to sell elephant ivory in New York. Two years ago those licensing standards were tightened to require the sellers to submit detailed inventory lists,” art lawyer Michael McCullough told CommitteeForCulturalPolicy.org. “All of the antique dealers’ organizations were in favor of more strict licensing and enforcement standards to deal with the problem of newly-carved tourist trinkets and decorative carvings entering the market. CJ

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