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New York--The Jewelers Vigilance Committee circulated a notice to the trade this week that the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) is now accepting donations of legally owned ivory products from those who want to “help reduce the overall ivory market.”

The creation of the repository comes as the federal government moves to all but ban the trade in African elephant ivory here in order to protect the massive mammals, which are being killed off at an alarming rate.

According to the JVC’s notice, the USFWS created the repository in response to demand from members of the public looking to “safely and legally” dispose of their ivory objects.

In order to be sent to the repository, the item must be the legal property of the person donating it.

Both antique items, which currently can be sold with some restrictions, as well as ivory items that are less than 100 years old and now are prohibited from commercial trade by state or federal law can be donated.

The items, which will go to the USFWS office in Commerce City, Colo., will be used primarily to educate the public about the ivory trade and animal conversation and will not be returned to the commercial market, the JVC’s notice stated.

Donations should be accompanied by a letter addressed to the repository containing the following information:
-- Description of the item(s) of legally obtained ivory being donated;
-- Name and address of the donor(s); and
-- A statement certifying that the donor(s) is/are the sole legal owner(s) of the property being donated and that by submitting such ivory to the repository they relinquish all rights to such property, without condition, to the FWS.

Those donating can send their ivory items via U.S. mail, UPS, Federal Express or other appropriate method to the repository at:

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service National Wildlife Property Repository 6550 Gateway Road, Bldg. 128 Commerce City, CO 80022 Attn: Ivory Donations

The cost of shipping is the responsibility of the donor.

More information about the repository is available on FWS.gov.

For questions about the ivory trade, contact Sara Yood at the JVC, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 212-997-2002.

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