‘Do you know where I can buy ivory?’ : The illegal sale of worked ivory products in Hong Kong

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-220
Journal / PublicationAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology
Issue number2
Online published8 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


Set against the theoretical framework of situational crime prevention theory, this paper analyses the illegal sale of worked ivory products in Hong Kong, which is the city with the highest number of worked ivory products for retail sale in the world. Based on qualitative interviews and open sources, this paper shows that legalising the sale of products made from mammoth tusk and pre-1989 ivory, the low risk of detection, high rewards, justifications made by offenders, and unique situational conditions have collectively (and indirectly) created opportunities for traders to sell worked ivory items illegally in Hong Kong. This paper concludes by offering a discussion on why the illegal sale of ivory products cannot be prevented with situational crime prevention preventive strategies in the long run.

Research Area(s)

  • Elephants, green criminology, illegal trade, ivory, wildlife

Bibliographic Note

Full text of this publication does not contain sufficient affiliation information. With consent from the author(s) concerned, the Research Unit(s) information for this record is based on the existing academic department affiliation of the author(s).