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Politics of the Ivory Ban
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When Ideologues Take Over the Regulatory State

Today the Advisory Council on Wildlife Trafficking is meeting in Washington, D.C. as the federal bureaucracy prepares to turn millions of Americans into criminals and destroy potentially billions of dollars in property by administrative fiat.  Yet doing so would likely result in more elephant killings.  The campaign appears to be driven by ideological rather than ecological fervor.

Poaching has increased over the last decade, putting African elephants at risk.  Additional global cooperation is necessary to save them.

elephant ivory

But America is not the problem.  Wrote economist Brendan Moyle in a new study for the Ivory Education Institute:  “the increase in poaching has bypassed the U.S. market completely.”  Instead, the increased “raw ivory exports … are heading mostly to East Asia and not to North America.”

Most ivory in America is legal.  Coming from long dead elephants, its sale does not endanger wildlife today.  Before the international ban was agreed to in 1989 millions or tens of millions of objects either made of ivory or accented by small amounts of ivory had entered the U.S.

There are pianos, guitars, and violin bows.  Jewelry, canes, and chess sets.  Gun stocks, knife handles, and card holders.  Letter openers, book marks, and fans.  Ne

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