The latest order from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has musicians across the nation outraged since it pretty much stops them from traveling abroad with their high-priced instruments.
The order stops the movement of ivory, which is found in many high-priced and vintage instruments, over America’s borders and is meant to crack down on the illegal sale of African elephant ivory. It also makes it nearly impossible for orchestras, symphonies, and individual musicians to travel with their instruments.
The DailyCaller reports that Raymond Hair, who’s the president of the American Federation of Musicians, penned a letter to is members saying “[T]he entire American arts community has reacted negatively to this new ban that was prompted by President Obama’s February 11 announcement that the U.S. will now join the rest of the world in attempting to curb African rhinoceros and elephant poaching in order to discourage illegal trafficking in rhino and elephant tusks, driven in large part by rising demand in China.
“With the serious implications to the livelihood of professional musicians across the country uppermost in mind, the AFM is currently using its congressional influence to revise the governmental rulemaking process at the highest levels of the federal government.”
Ivory was used in just about every type of musical instrument from guitars, to pianos, to bows for cellos, etc. decades ago and many musicians prefer to use those vintage instruments due to the higher quality construction. Because of this new rule, musicians will either have to keep their best instruments home and perform with one that’s lesser quality, or risk their prized possessions not being allowed back into the country after their performance.
There are slight exceptions to the rule but most musicians will have a difficult time being able to qualify.
The only instruments that will be allowed to travel will be those purchased before the first international ivory bans in 1976. If a musician is able to gather the appropriate documents to obtain certification for them under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species then they’ll be able to bring their tools back into the country.
Those who can’t provide what’s required are out of luck, and more than likely their instrument’s resale value will drop tremendously since nobody will want something they can’t travel with. So even if the law was followed to properly obtain these instruments, those who own them may not legally be able to travel with them.
Nice move, Obama. Way to save the lives of elephants that died 60 years ago.