The U.S. Government today called on the international community to destroy all stocks of illegal and confiscated elephant ivory.
The U.S. will be destroying its own ivory stockpile on October 8, 2013, as a powerful symbol that ivory trinkets have no value and are leading to the unprecedented slaughter of elephants.
"An elephant loses its life to poaching, on average, every 15 minutes," said Jeff Flocken, North America Regional Director (International Fund for Animal Welfare – www.ifaw.org).
"The battle to save elephants cannot be fought in isolation. The U.S. is calling for countries to stand together in the global effort to combat the current poaching crisis and the illegal wildlife trade.
"The U.S. Government has demonstrated strong leadership in this battle including President Barack Obama's recent Executive Order on combatting wildlife trafficking."
The U.S. stockpile includes raw and carved elephant tusks, smaller carvings and other elephant ivory items. It weighs 5.4 tonnes and will be crushed outside Denver, Colorado.
Flocken added, "Illegal wildlife trade generates an estimated US$19 billion per year, and p oaching [sic\ and worldwide insecurity are connected. Often, the proceeds are used to fund and arm rebel and militia groups who are willing to slaughter imperiled species and kill people to obtain elephant ivory, rhinoceros horn and other wildlife parts." More....