The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service applauded the destruction by the government of Hong Kong of some of its seized ivory.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) applauded the destruction by the government of Hong Kong of some of its seized ivory May 15. The incineration of a ton is the first in a series that the country will undertake to destroy its nearly 30-ton stockpile, one of the largest in the world. USFWS crushed 6 tons of seized ivory in 2013.
More than 35,000 elephants were killed in 2013 for the illegal ivory trade, USFWS says. Scores of the park rangers who work to protect them, also have been killed. Governments are destroying seized ivory to send a message to poachers of the global resolve to end the slaughter. USFWS says decades of experience show that allowing ivory to enter legal trade only makes enforcement harder, by giving traffickers ways to disguise sources of poached ivory.
Hong Kong Secretary for the Environment KS Wong said the disposal shows Hong Kong is determined to curb illicit trade in ivory.
Twenty-eight tons of ivory seized in Hong Kong will be incinerated in batches by mid-2015.
Any further seizures will also be destroyed, Hong Kong officials said.