Domestic trade in elephant ivory to be banned from September 2021: NParks

Singapore is one of the signatories under Cites, which has imposed a ban on the international trade in elephant ivory since 1990. (PHOTO: Getty Editorial)

SINGAPORE — From 1 September 2021, Singapore will no longer allow domestic trading of elephant ivory.

“The ban will mean that the sale of elephant ivory and ivory products, and public display of elephant ivory and ivory products for the purpose of sale will be prohibited in Singapore,” said the National Parks Board (NParks) in an announcement on Monday (12 August) in conjunction with World Elephant Day.

Once the ban comes into effect, traders can donate their stock of elephant ivory to institutions for educational purposes or keep them. NParks added that it will continue to work with traders to “ensure a smooth transition”.

“Public display of elephant ivory or ivory products for educational or religious purposes will continue to be permitted. Similarly, those who own musical instruments and personal effects like bird cages that contain ivory may continue to use them in public,” said the board.

The domestic ban highlights the nation’s resolve in the fight against the illegal trading of species listed under Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites), said NParks. Singapore is one of the signatories under Cites, which has imposed a ban on the international trade in elephant ivory since 1990.

Public consultations, stakeholder engagements

NParks noted that the government has been conducting extensive stakeholder engagements – including those with non-governmental organisations and ivory retailers – to gather their views with regard to a blanket ban.

A public consultation conducted via the Reach portal from November to December last year found that 99 per cent of feedback received showed support for such a ban.

“NParks, as the national authority that enforces CITES in Singapore, is committed to stopping the trade of elephant ivory and its products for the conservation and protection of the world’s elephants,” said NParks’ director-general for wildlife trade control Leong Chee Chiew.

“This is aligned with the views shared by the community who are similarly concerned about the impact that trade in elephant ivory has on the animal’s population numbers.”

After the ban kicks in, those found offering ivory or ivory products for sale, or on public display for the purpose of sale, may be charged under the Endangered Species (Import & Export) Act. Those found guilty face fines of up to a $10,000 per specimen, not exceeding $100,000 in total, jail terms of up to 12 months, or both.

More Singapore stories:

Record haul: 815 ornamental birds found aboard Malaysia-registered bus at Woodlands Checkpoint

PHOTOS: Singapore celebrates National Day with a parade at the Padang

No plans to raise legal minimum of 7 days annual leave entitlement: Josephine Teo