Ivory sales and United States TV

This video from the USA is called 96 Elephants: Vintage Horror Show – The True Cost of Ivory.

From the Wildlife Conservation Society in the USA:

Pop quiz: Which of the following items is NOT allowed on PBS’s Antiques Roadshow?

  • A hand-carved Turkish ivory tusk
  • An ivory chess set
  • An art deco French ivory hair comb adorned with pearls

Alright, I admit – it was a trick question. They’re all allowed.

But the point is, none of them should be on the air. Not when elephants are facing a perilous fight for their very existence.

All ivory, whether it’s centuries old or days old, comes from a dead elephant. When Antiques Roadshow appraises ivory on air, it sends the message that selling ivory is perfectly OK and also highly lucrative.

But the sad truth is that ivory is worth so much because of out of control demand – demand fueled in part by publicity like this. Worse yet, the legal sale of ivory serves to cover up a black market rooted in murderous elephant poaching, organized crime, and terrorism.

Sign our petition to the producer and host of Antiques Roadshow to tell them to halt on-air appraisals of ivory.

We can’t afford to waste any time when it comes to protecting elephants – today alone, an average of 96 African forest elephants will be killed to meet the demand for ivory in burgeoning markets in Asia, the United States, and all over the world.

Antiques Roadshow has the perfect opportunity to use its broad reach to protect threatened elephants rather than helping to fuel the market for ivory. We urge them to stand with us by ending on-air appraisals.

Add your name to our letter to Antiques Roadshow and send a loud and clear message: Don’t do ivory; it’s dead.

As long as ivory is seen as an item of value, it sends a message that an elephant is worth more dead than alive. You and I both know that’s not true.


John F Calvelli
John F. Calvelli
Executive Vice President for Public Affairs
Wildlife Conservation Society
Director, 96 Elephants

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