A group of 27 activists gathered in front of the Legislative Council on Tuesday urging lawmakers to support the ivory ban in Hong Kong.

Lawmakers will convene Wednesday morning for a Bill Committee meeting on banning the ivory trade and listen to the views of the public. The government has proposed to ban the sale of ivory over a five-year period.

Save the Elephants’ Head of Anti-Poaching Chris Leadismo and director of “The Last Animals” Kate Brooks will testify at the meeting.

Photo: Alex Hofford/WildAid.

“WildAid is urgently calling on the Hong Kong government to speed up the process of banning the city’s ivory trade with no compensation to ivory traders as well as to increase the maximum penalties for wildlife crime,” Alex Hofford, wildlife campaigner at WildAid Hong Kong, said.

“Up to 600,000 African elephants were slaughtered in the first ivory war, which was only halted in the nick of time by the 1989 international ivory ban. Much of the ivory from over half a million illegally-killed elephants entered into a then-legal international trade, and a very large proportion of it ended up right here in Hong Kong.”

Photo: Alex Hofford/WildAid.

“Given the huge percentage of illegal ivory in circulation in Hong Kong at the time of the 1990 ban, it would be immoral for the Hong Kong taxpayer to foot the bill for any ivory trade compensation scheme.”

Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.