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Instagram photo by naturemama77Don't want to get too hopeful yet but would be such good news. 🙏🐘🙏 #Repost @cristinakitty11 ・・・ @Regrann from @wildlifefirst - (WILDAID) – In a major step toward implementing its pledge to ban the ivory trade, China will close 67 carving factories and retail shops across the country on Friday, WildAid has learned. The first round of closures impacts about a third of all official shops and factories, according to documents released by China’s State Forestry Administration. . Late last year, China announced plans to stop all domestic ivory sales by the end of 2017. The country is currently the world’s largest market for elephant ivory products. Although international trade is prohibited, up to 30,000 elephants are killed illegally each year for their tusks. . “These closures prove that China means business in closing down the ivory trade and helping the African elephant,” said Peter Knights, CEO of WildAid. “The price of ivory has dropped by two-thirds from previous highs, so it is now a very bad investment. We expect further drops as the full closure approaches at the end of the year.” . A report released today by Save the Elephants found that the wholesale price of ivory tusks in China had fallen to $730 per kilogram, down from $2,100 in 2014. According to the investigation, some retail outlets have already closed due to slow sales. “Public awareness campaigns have exposed many potential buyers to the impact that buying ivory has on Africa’s elephants,” the organization said in its press release. . Full story: http://wildaid.org/news/china-close-ivory-shops-and-factories-price-plummets

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