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Kenya welcomes China’s ban on ivory trade, says pledge is historic

Elephants killed by poachers. PHOTO | FILE
Elephants killed by poachers. PHOTO | FILE 

Kenya has welcomed China’s banning of processing and sale of ivory products by end of next year.

Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) chairman Richard Leakey said the pledge is historic and would boost efforts to save African elephants from poaching.

“I was pleased to learn that China’s action would be a blow to the ivory trade and I hope that other nations will follow China’s example,” Mr Leakey was quoted last week in a media report by Xinhua news agency.

“The ban is a positive gesture that reinforces the urgency of saving the rest of the elephant herd.” Kenya, led by President Uhuru Kenyatta, last August spearheaded demands for a total ban on trade in ivory to end the “murderous” trafficking and prevent the extinction of elephants in the wild.