BLADE Magazine

How The Nov. 4 Vote Affects the Ivory Ban

The pending ivory ban will be impacted by the Nov. 4 elections.
The Nov. 4 elections will impact the pending ivory ban, though to what extent depends on several factors. Meanwhile, even legal ancient ivory has been banned in New Jersey! Robert Appleby uses legal mammoth ivory on his fixed blades. (Chuck Ward photo)

While some might think Republicans taking control of Congress as a result of the Nov. 4 elections will be good for those fighting a pending legal ivory ban, such may not be the case.

Rob Mitchell of the Elephant Protection Association indicated that though the election results would seem to make a Republican majority in Congress more effective at challenging “out-of-control administrative agencies” that want to ban all legal ivory, including knives with handles of legal ivory, it could also have the opposite effect.

Since President Obama has indicated he will do what he thinks necessary to deal with aliens in the country illegally through executive order or administrative action by the end of the year at the latest, it also may mean he will take a similar approach to such issues as the ivory ban. “If so,” Mitchell writes, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) “may become more aggressive with regulations putting politics ahead of science-based conservation.”

Moreover, he added, such non-governmental organizations (NGOs) as the World Wildlife Fund, Africa Wildlife Foundation, Wildlife Conservation Society, international and American humane societies and others will “continue to spread misinformation in Congress to confuse issues and push an animal rights agenda in spite of the harm it will cause to legitimate conservation efforts and people who own legal ivory.”

As a result, Mitchell urges all those against the ban on legal ivory to either contact or to continue to contact their legislators and see where the legislators stand on House Resolution 5052 and Senate Bill 2587. In a nutshell, if approved, both measures would roll back the attempt by USFWS to ban legal ivory to the status quo of February 2014, “while allowing the government to pursue other means to combat elephant poaching and other wildlife trafficking.”

For more information on the ivory ban and related issues, visit

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