HONG KONG: The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) today (November 27) issued summonses against the proprietors of two shops for illegal possession of post-ban ivory. The cases will be heard at the Eastern Magistrates’ Courts on January 9 next year.
During an operation to combat illegal trade in ivory in June, officers of the AFCD purchased two pairs of ivory chopsticks from two shops in Central. Four samples cut from each pair were later found in the radiocarbon dating analysis to be made of ivory obtained after 1990.
An AFCD spokesman said that elephants are listed in Appendix I to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora and international trade in ivory has been prohibited since 1990.
Regulated under the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance, only ivory that had been imported legally into Hong Kong before 1990 is allowed to be traded locally under a Licence to Possess after registration with the AFCD. Those who contravene the Ordinance are liable to a maximum fine of $5 million and imprisonment for two years. The specimens will also be forfeited upon conviction.
The spokesman reiterated that the Government attaches great importance to combating illegal trade in endangered species. To enquire about the control of endangered species and to report suspected irregularities, the public can call the AFCD on 1823.