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China to phase out commercial ivory processing, sales

Updated: Dec 31,2016 9:29 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China will gradually stop the processing and sales of ivory for commercial purposes by the end of 2017, according to the central government website on Dec 30.

The decision came after the country imposed a three-year ban on ivory imports in March this year in an escalated fight against illegal trading of wild animals and plants.

The move will affect the country’s 34 processing enterprises and 143 designated trading venues, with dozens to be closed by the end of March 2017, according to an official with the State Forestry Administration.

Before that deadline, law enforcement agencies will continue to clamp down on illegalities associated with the elephant’s tusk, the official said.