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Message must be delivered that ivory is banned

China Daily | Updated: 2019-01-03 07:09

CHINA COMPLETELY BANNED the processing and selling of ivory and ivory products on Jan 1, 2018. Yet sales of ivory products have not been totally eliminated one whole year after the ban. Beijing News comments:

In November, the customs in Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong province, seized 10 pieces of ivory, which weighed 323.7 kilograms in total. The longest of the pieces was 1.9 meters in length, which is the longest piece among all the ivory seized by the customs in Shenzhen.

In the past year, the relevant departments have increased the intensity of inspections on ivory smuggling and sales. However, that does not mean that the smuggling and trafficking of ivory products has disappeared. Many smuggling activities are relatively more subtle.

Unlike in the past, this time the suspects used an express delivery company to try and smuggle in the ivory, instead of bringing the illegal products into China with them. According to reports, many ivory smugglers now choose express delivery services as a way of transporting their illegal products.

That phenomenon emerged at least five years ago. In 2013, there were already reports about smugglers doing their illegal businesses online and shipping them via delivery companies. In 2015, a suspect was even reported to have tried to find a job with a delivery company in order to conveniently smuggle in ivory and ivory products.

All clues lead to one conclusion, namely that express delivery has already become a way to smuggle ivory. Or, worse than that, it has become a new, convenient tool for the smuggling of not only ivory, but also other illegal wildlife products.

Therefore, in order to eliminate ivory smuggling, it is necessary to more strictly regulate the delivery companies and make sure they abide by the law. The law has long clearly prohibited the delivery of certain wildlife products such as ivory and tiger bones, but in reality it is the express delivery companies that are in charge of checking the packages to make sure they do not contain illegal products. And some suspects have reportedly said that they just paid the express delivery companies some tip money to have the packages passed.

It is time to strengthen the enforcement of the law and eliminate the channel for ivory smugglers.

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