Orchestras and musicians advocate for exemptions to ivory ban

Posted on: May 14, 2014

“In an effort to crack down on illegal animal trafficking, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) issued an order earlier this year that bans the trade of materials containing African elephant ivory,” writes Tim Devaney in Wednesday’s (5/14) The Hill (Washington, D.C.). “Musicians say the order could keep them from traveling overseas, because they often perform with expensive antique instruments that contain ivory.… The policy is particularly worrisome for orchestras, because many older stringed instruments such as violins and cellos contain small amounts of ivory, as do the bows used to play them. ‘There have been some musicians that have decided not to travel because the risk is too high, there’s too much uncertainty about what could happen to their instruments,’ said Heather Noonan, vice president for advocacy at the League of American Orchestras…. The Recording Academy, the League of American Orchestras, and NAMM say they’ve been talking with Fish and Wildlife Service officials as well as members of Congress about an exemption to the policy. The FWS is planning to come out with a new ivory rule this summer to clarify the director’s order.”

Posted May 14, 2014