Group puts countries on ivory 'probation'

March 15, 2013 at 6:22 PM
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BANGKOK, March 15 (UPI) -- An endangered species conference in Bangkok has set a deadline for offending countries in the ivory trade to reduce their involvement or face sanctions.

In its final session here, delegates to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora approved a decision to demand action for reducing the trade in ivory in a "gang of eight" countries considered the worst offenders, the BBC reported.

CITES named the supply states, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, the consumer states of China and Thailand, and three countries -- Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines -- involved in the transit of ivory between suppliers and consumers.

If plants were not put in place by the eight countries then sanctions could be enacted beginning in July 2014, CITES officials said.

"The eight states are prepared to do more and be measured against that," John Scanlon, CITES secretary general, said.

"There is also a recognition that a failure to take action, [may see] the standing committee consider compliance measures. And the ultimate sanction under our convention is a trade suspension."

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