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U.S. Says Hong Kong Ivory Crush Will Aid Elephant Survival

Published on 25 January 2014

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by Office of the Spokesperson


Washington, D.C.

Illegal Ivory Objects Confiscated By USFWS
Illegal Ivory Objects Confiscated By USFWS

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Director Dan Ashe commended the Endangered Species Advisory Committee of Hong Kong’s Agriculture, Fisheries, and Conservation Department for its unanimous decision January 23 to destroy approximately 28 metric tons of confiscated ivory. Ashe said Hong Kong joins “a growing number of governments that are taking a strong stand against illegal ivory trade and demonstrating their commitment to end the elephant poaching crisis.”

Elephants are being slaughtered across Africa to meet an insatiable global demand for ivory, USFWS says. Scores of the park rangers who work to protect them have also been killed.

“Hong Kong’s commitment to destroy its ivory, coupled with the recent ivory destruction events in the United States and China as well as earlier destructions in Kenya, Gabon and the Philippines, send a powerful message to poachers, traffickers and consumers that wildlife crime will not be tolerated at any point along the crime chain,” Ashe said in a statement on the USFWS website. “France will also destroy its illegal elephant ivory this year, and we hope that other nations will follow suit.”

Elephants once numbered in the millions throughout Africa, Ashe said. Today, there are estimated to be fewer than 400,000 across the continent, he added. “Time is growing short for the world to act,” Ashe said. “Unless the poaching of elephants, rhinos and other species is halted, we will likely see them disappear from the wild in the next several decades.”

The action by Hong Kong “is a critical step that reinforces the growing commitment of the international community to ensure the future survival of the African elephant,” Ashe said.

Above, illegal ivory objects confiscated by USFWS.


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Posted 2014-01-25 13:10:00