Chok, the 29-year-old male elephant who has lived at Eco-tourism Koh Lanta for more than seven years.

Elephant ivory trade ban plan worth trumpeting about


Huge news for wildlife! The New Zealand Government has agreed to amend the ‘Trade in Endangered Species Act’ (TIES Act) to ban the domestic sale of elephant ivory.

Top image: Nicolas Axelrod

With your support, World Animal Protection made a submission in support of amendments to this Act in October last year and we’ll be keeping a watchful eye on the Select Committee process.

We welcome this potential big step forward in strengthening the management of international trade in endangered, threatened and exploited species.  

Currently there are no restrictions on domestic trade in elephant ivory in New Zealand. This is out of step with many countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, France, and China which already have a domestic trade ban. 

Ben Pearson, Head of Campaigns for World Animal Protection said: 

“This announcement is overdue, and the promise must be followed through after the election to close the current loopholes and ensure New Zealand is doing its part to end demand for, and domestic sale of, ivory and tusks.” 

The proposal will ban the domestic sale of any items made with ivory from elephants killed after 1975, which is when elephants began to be protected from international trade under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). 

The import and export of all elephant ivory is also proposed to be banned, with narrow exemptions. 

Proposed changes to the TIES Act will also place further restrictions at the border on importing and exporting elephant ivory; and will ensure that New Zealand can continue to protect significant plants and wildlife from around the world to the highest standard. 

Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage said: 

“The New Zealand market in ivory is small but banning the sale of post-Convention elephant ivory in New Zealand will send a message that New Zealand does not want to receive elephant ivory that may have been poached or illegally traded.” 

A big shout out to all of our supporters for making this possible. Thank you! We’ll keep you updated on this story as it progresses. 

We welcome this potential big step forward in strengthening the management of international trade in endangered, threatened and exploited species.

More about