The relaxation of rules for musicians is actually part of a near-total elephant ivory ban by the U.S., to cut off opportunities for traffickers.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe said that after listening to the concerns of various groups, the Service is "allowing commonsense, narrow exceptions for musicians, musical instrument makers and dealers, gun owners and others to trade items that have minimal amounts of ivory and satisfy other conditions.”
“We are so pleased,” League of American Orchestras vice president for advocacy Heather Noonan told the New York Times. “We’re particularly pleased that the rule confirms that domestic trade and international travel with existing musical instruments that contain small amounts of African elephant ivory aren’t contributing to the poaching crisis.”
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Order 210, meant to protect African elephants from poaching by banning the commercial elephant ivory trade, came out in February 2014 and posed grave logistical problems for musicians, who were told their their bows had to meet complex requirements and also instructed to document the ivory in their bows. Bows with African elephant ivory were to be accompanied by a CITES ("Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species") musical instrument certificate, but how to obtain one was anyone's guess.
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