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Hong Kong announces bill to ban ivory trade

Hong Kong came one step closer to legislating a full ivory trade ban on Tuesday after a heated debate between conservationists and ivory traders. 

At a special meeting of the Hong Kong Legislative Council Panel on Environmental Affairs, it was announced that a new bill banning ivory will be put forward on 14 June 2017.

Hong Kong ivory ban receives widespread support

Hong Kong's Legislative Council Panel on Environmental Affairs will hear public comments Tuesday on government plans to ban the trade in elephant ivory products.

In advance of the public hearing, the council received about 275 letters in support of the ban from Hong Kong residents and other interested individuals from as far away as South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

Representatives from around 20 conservation groups, including WildAid, will address the council in favor of ending the ivory trade in Hong Kong. Mainland China is in the process of closing all its ivory carving factories and retail shops by the end of 2017.

WildAid CEO Peter Knights Honored

Wildlife champion Peter Knights has been honored with a Bay Area Jefferson Award for public service. A segment featuring Knights and fellow shark advocate Julie Packard of the Monterey Bay Aquarium aired on KPIX Channel 5 News.

Ugandans value their wildlife, first ever survey shows

In the first nationwide survey of its kind in Uganda, 79% percent of respondents said it would matter a great deal to them if the country’s wildlife disappeared, while only 5% said they did not care about their wildlife heritage.

2,300 Ugandans based in both rural and urban areas participated in the survey, which was carried out by Uganda Conservation Foundation, WildAid and Uganda Wildlife Authority.

South Africa shoots rhino poachers, but lets kingpins walk, new report finds

Rhino poaching middlemen and kingpins continue to operate with impunity in South Africa, according to a new WildAid report, which reveals how the country has failed to prosecute or sufficiently punish those arrested for high level involvement in rhino crimes.  

WildAid's report cites repeated examples of case dismissals, postponements and paltry fines, most often associated with suspects coming from the professional hunting, game farming or veterinary industries. Low level poachers, by contrast, are often shot or jailed for lengthy terms.

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