‘Antiques Roadshow’ Doesn’t Want Your Ivory Tusks

Ivory tusks are displayed after the official start of the destruction of confiscated ivory in Hong Kong May 15, 2014. A 28-ton stockpile of confiscated ivory began to burn in Hong Kong on Thursday, in a process that could take a year or more, according to local media. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu (CHINA - Tags: ENVIRONMENT ANIMALS CRIME LAW)
Ivory tusks
REUTERS

The PBS series Antiques Roadshow will no longer feature or appraise ivory tusks and have pulled existing appraisals of them on its site, the show announced this week.

The show, which is produced by WGBH Boston, is the network’s highest-rated series. Each episode offers free appraisals of antiques and collectibles submitted by the public, and has led to surprising discoveries of true treasures.

The Wildlife Conservation Society praised the show’s decision, calling it an, “important step in assuring these items are not glorified on-air.”

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According to the Wildlife Conservation Society, elephant populations have plummeted by 76 percent largely because of the demand for elephant’s ivory tusks. In 2012, an estimated 35,000 were killed by poachers.

The show’s editorial policy states that it adheres to the Endangered Species Act (ESA), U.S. regulations for implementing the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), and other applicable laws.

“When featuring antique objects made from ESA materials, such as a historical portrait on ivory or a musical instrument with an ivory inlay, Antiques Roadshow strives to offer context and use the appraisal as an opportunity to educate our viewers not only about the historical and cultural significance of the object, but also about the larger issues at hand,” Antiques Roadshow said in a public statement.