(MCCLATCHY) The federal government will enact a near total ban on the domestic sale of African elephant ivory under federal regulations issued Thursday.
It's been illegal for decades to import African elephant ivory for commercial use and to export raw ivory. The final rule largely focuses on sales inside the U.S. It restricts the sale of elephant ivory across state lines.
Fish and Wildlife Service officials said that once illegal ivory enters the market, it becomes nearly indistinguishable from the legal ivory used in products such as knife handles, billiard cues and furniture, so it was necessary to put more restrictions in place. The rule also prohibits the export of ivory products, with exceptions for antiques.
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