China has crushed its entire stockpile of confiscated ivory from all concluded illegal trade cases in 2014
The ivory crush at the Beijing Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre was a joint operation between China State Forestry Administration (SFA) and General Administration of Customs (GAC).
The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) was invited to attend the ivory crush. Grace Ge Gabriel, Asia Regional Director of IFAW said: “IFAW strongly supports the Chinese government to publicly destroy ivory. This crush, the second in as many years, demonstrates China’s commitment to end the illegal ivory trade.
“The 662 kg of confiscated ivory from the closed cases is the result of vigorous enforcement actions by SFA, GAC, State Forestry Police and other enforcement agencies. Enforcement operations such as Operation Cobra have achieved remarkable deterrent effects to wildlife criminals in and outside of China.”
“In the future, the Chinese government will continue to enhance wildlife conservation with no hideout for illegal wildlife trade including ivory trafficking in China. Under the legal framework of CITES and domestic laws and regulations, we will strictly control ivory processing and trade until the commercial processing and sale of ivory and its products are eventually halted.” said Mr. Zhao Shucong, Minister of SFA, at the destruction event.
The ivory trade is pushing endangered elephants towards extinction. Every year, 25,000-30,000 African elephants are poached to supply the ivory trade. According to the Elephant Trade Information System (ETIS), in recent years, the volume from large-scale ivory seizures has been setting new records. In 2013, enforcement agencies around the world seized 41.6 tonnes of ivory, representing a 71% increase from 2009. Research shows that for slow-growing, long-living species like the elephant, when mortality rate reaches 6% the population risks crashing. However in many regions of Africa, elephant populations are declining at a rate of 11%-12% because of the ivory trade.
“Public destruction of confiscated ivory, together with vigorous enforcement, raises the cost for engaging in wildlife crime and warns the public about the criminal nature of ivory trade. Such measures help stigmatise ivory consumption and reduce demand” added Grace Ge Gabriel of IFAW.
To combat the global illegal ivory trade, more countries have publicly destroyed seized ivory this year. Kenya, Ethiopia, United Arab Emirates and the Republic of Congo together torched more than 36 tonnes of ivory. IFAW France also organised a public destruction of unwanted ivory donated by the general public. From African elephant range states to smuggling transit routes to consuming countries, every link on the transnational ivory trade chain have been covered by these series of actions.
“Combating illegal ivory trade requires the effort of the whole world. China will continue to enhance global collaboration, strengthen regulation and enforcement, and further improve the laws to control illegal ivory trade,” said Dr. Xianlin Meng, the Executive Deputy Director of China CITES Management Authority.
Sabrina Zhang, IFAW China; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Tel: +86 13911116927
Ally MacDonald, IFAW UK; Email: email@example.com; Tel: 0207 587 6725
Christina Pretorius, IFAW Southern Africa; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Tel: +27 82 330 2558
About IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare)