By Kevin Heath
On Thursday, within view of the Eiffel Tower, 3 tonnes of ivory stockpile will be crushed and then taken to an incinerator to be burned. France will follow the path of an increasing number of countries who see no future for ivory trading. The environment ministry has also stated that ivory will be destroyed as stock build up following on-going seizures.
Paris-based lobby group, Robin des Bois, has been pushing for the destruction of ivory for over 25 years and have welcomed the move by the state.
“We are very satisfied that the French state has changed its doctrine; moving away from the stockpiling of seized ivory,” Robin des Bois president Jacky Bonnemains told journalists.
“We hope that this new approach of systematically destroying seized ivory will be extended to rhino horn and other illegal animal products.”
France follows on from major ivory destruction in countries such as the US, China, Gabon and the Philippines. It’s move also comes shortly after the announcement by Hong Kong that it too will start destroying it’s vast 33 tonnes of ivory later this year. The European Parliament has also recently voted on a proposal calling on EU member states to destroy their own ivory stocks.
The public destruction of the 3 tonnes will take place just over a week ahead of an international conference in London to look at ways in which to bring about a co-ordinated action against poachers.
The destruction though only accounts for about 20% of the illegal ivory that France currently has in stock. It is estimated that France holds a total of 17 tonnes of ivory.