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Museums, Musicians Say Ivory Order Hampers Travel

June 23, 2014, 1:37 PM


Museums and musicians are concerned that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's ramped up restrictions on the transport of items containing elephant ivory are inflicting unintended hardships on the music world.

President Barack Obama in February approved a new strategy for fighting trafficking through enforcement that puts a near complete ban on the commercial trade of elephant ivory.

The National Music Museum's Arian Sheets says the federal order is having a chilling effect on museums and musicians who travel with vintage and antique instruments containing small amounts of ivory.

Sheets says very few people kept documentation on ivory before 1989, but the burden of proof falls on the instrument owner. Musicians and museum curators who send instruments out on traveling exhibits worry that the items might not make it back.

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