By Bassma Al Jandaly
An environment campaign to enhance international efforts to combat the smuggling of elephant ivory tusks is under way by the Dubai Police General Command, represented at the General Administration of Airport Security and in cooperation with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) Dubai. The police awareness campaign was launched at the Departure hall in Building-3 of Emirates Airlines in Dubai’s International Airport and Transit lounges.
The new campaign is part of an ongoing bid by Dubai authrities to clamp down on the illegal shipment of elephant tusks from Africa to the Far East.
According to IFAW, in early November 2013, Dubai customs intercepted a shipment of 215 elephant tusks worth an estimated $4 million and en route from Kenya to Hong Kong.
The tusks were seized after being discovered in bags marked as red beans, said IFAW.
Although international trade in ivory tusks was banned in 1989, ivory remains in high demand in Far East leading to the continued slaughter of elephants in the Africa region. By some estimates, up to 750,000 elephants were killed for their tusks in the 1980s leaving a population of 600,000 at the dawn of the 1990s decade when the ban was brought into effect.
Major General Pilot Ahmad Bin Mohammad Al Thani, Director of the Dubai Police Airport Security Department, affirmed the importance of the environment campaign to save elephants which are under immense poaching pressure in Africa for their ivory tusks.
He said police are working to bolster their partnerships with international bodies in regard to the plight of elephants worldwide. More....