"HONG KONG -- China has announced a plan to phase out all ivory processing and trade by the end of 2017, the government said on Friday, a move that conservationists hope will stymie the mass killing -- and threat of extinction -- of African elephants.
The country had already announced plans to ban the ivory trade, but it's now committed itself to a timetable to end the trade, something it said it would do this summer, according to the US State Department.
"China's announcement is a game changer for elephant conservation. The large-scale trade of ivory now faces its twilight years, and the future is brighter for wild elephants, said Carter Roberts, the president and CEO of WWF. "With the US also ending its domestic ivory trade earlier this year, two of the largest ivory markets have taken action that will reverberate around the world.""