Hong Kong to ban import and export of ivory


HONG KONG — Hong Kong will ban the import and export of ivory, the city’s leader announced Wednesday, in a “historic” move hailed by animal welfare activists. Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying told lawmakers in his annual policy address that officials were determined to crack down on the trade in Hong Kong.

The southern Chinese city is a major hub of ivory sales and has been criticized by environmentalists for fuelling the illegal trade that leads to rampant poaching across Africa. “The government is very concerned about the illegal poaching of elephants in Africa. It will kick start legislative procedures as soon as possible to ban the import and export of elephant hunting trophies,” Leung said at the Legislative Council on Wednesday. He added ministers will “actively explore other appropriate measures” to phase out the local ivory trade.