Wildlife delegates call for end to ivory markets

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Delegates at a U.N. wildlife conference in South Africa are pressuring countries with ivory markets to close them because of the slaughter of tens of thousands of elephants in recent years.

A conference committee on Sunday recommended the closure of domestic ivory markets that are “contributing to poaching or illegal trade.”

Many conservationists say legal markets are used to launder trafficked ivory. The world’s main ivory consumer, China, plans to close its domestic market.

The committee recommendation, which isn’t legally binding, was approved by consensus. It is likely to be approved at a plenary session on Tuesday or Wednesday of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, or CITES.

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