The Wrong Way to Combat Poaching

The Department of Interior, which is charged with the enforcement of the Endangered Species Act, has announced its intention to introduce a comprehensive “ban on Commercial Trade of Ivory as Part of Overall Effort to Combat Poaching, Wildlife Trafficking.” That ban will cover both the sale of objects that contain any amount of ivory, however small, and the shipment across state lines by the owner of any object that contains ivory. Unfortunately, the White House Report that outlines a “National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking” is oblivious to vital concerns of private property owners and to the low probability that its draconian measures will reduce the illegal ivory trade. As The New York Times reports, an “uproar among musicians, antique dealers, gun collectors, and thousands of others whose ability to sell, repair, or travel with ivory objects will soon be prohibited.”

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