DOHA, Qatar, March 23 (UPI) — A United Nations wildlife panel says it rejected Tanzania and Zambia’s request to sell stockpiled ivory because it could encourage poaching.
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species denied the one-time sale from government stockpiles Monday in Doha, Qatar, the BBC reported.
Allowing the sales would have supported an ongoing market in which crime rings sell poached ivory, the panel said.
While some conservation groups called the action a victory for elephants, others argued an occasional legal sale would have no effect on poaching, which continues to threaten African elephants.
Illegal ivory markets thrive in Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Thailand, with organized crime syndicates increasingly involved in the lucrative trade, said TRAFFIC, an international group that monitors wildlife trade.
“Poaching and illegal ivory markets … must be effectively suppressed before any further ivory sales take place,” said Elisabeth McLellan, a spokeswoman for the World Wide Fund for Nature.
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