Victory for African elephants, rhinos as China destroys more ivory
A move by China to crush 662kg of confiscated ivory at the Beijing Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center has been hailed a victory in the fight against poaching. The ivory was from concluded cases since 2014.
International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) was invited to witness the ivory crush jointly carried out by China State Forestry Administration and General Administration of Customs (GAC).
“IFAW strongly supports the Chinese government to publicly destroy ivory. This crushing, the second in as many years, demonstrates China’s commitment to end illegal ivory trade,” said Grace Ge Gabriel, Asia Regional Director of IFAW.
“The 662kg of confiscated ivory from the closed cases is the result of vigorous enforcement actions by State Forestry Administration, General Administration of Customs, State Forestry Police and other enforcement agencies. Enforcement operations are effective deterrents to wildlife criminals in and outside of China.”
The Chinese government pledged to enhance wildlife conservation with no hideout for illegal wildlife trade including ivory trafficking in China.
“Under the legal framework of CITES and domestic laws and regulations, we will strictly control ivory processing and trade until the commercial processing and sale of ivory and its products are eventually halted,” said Mr. Zhao Shucong, Minister of State Forestry Administration, at the destruction event.
Ivory trade is pushing endangered elephants towards extinction. Every year, 25,000-30,000 African elephants are poached to supply the ivory trade.
According to the Elephant Trade Information System (ETIS), in recent years, the volume from large-scale ivory seizures has been setting new records.
In 2013, enforcement agencies around the world seized 41.6 tonnes of ivory, representing a 71 per cent increase from 2009.