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Laos is 'world's fastest growing' ivory market

The fastest growing ivory market in the world is now Laos, according to an investigation by Kenya-based group Save the Elephants.

China is banning all ivory trade by the end of 2017, but business is booming in neighbouring countries.
Like Vietnam and Myanmar, the prices are cheaper in Laos than on the Chinese mainland, and law and order is lacking - the report authors say - meaning the illegal cross-border trade is not policed.
"In the absence of effective law enforcement, the sales of ivory items to Chinese consumers will continue to rise," said researcher Esmond Martin.
International criminal syndicates are involved in ivory trafficking, which encourages, and is encouraged by, corruption across Africa.
The report's lead author, Lucy Vigne, said Laos urgently needs to take steps to tackle this growing problem.
"With a lack of strong and continuing international pressure to curtail the trade in ivory in Laos and a lack of interest by the Laotian government, there has been a significant and relatively sudden growth in the ivory trade," she said.
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