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  Ivory trade threatens elephants
Updated 11 March 2004, 15.13
Elephant and calf
An illegal trade in ivory thriving in the UK is threatening elephants.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (Ifaw) says nearly all the ivory in the UK is sold illegally, because of "worrying" holes in the law.

Only ivory carved before 1947 can be sold in the UK, but Ifaw say dealers fake age documents for new ivory, which means more elephants are being killed.

Selling ivory from elephants that weren't poached could be legalised soon, but Ifaw is trying to stop this.

Elephants
It thinks if this ivory is made legal, it will be easier for people to sell illegal ivory, as no-one will be able to tell the difference.

High demand for ivory in the UK means lots of illegal new ivory is being carved to make it look old.

In the 1970s, there were around 275,000 elephants in Kenya.

That has dropped to around 25,000 in recent years.

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