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January 6, 2014

China Destroys Confiscated Ivory Stockpile

Event comes after historic U.S. ivory crush

Humane Society International, Jane Goodall Institute China

  • Ivory jewelery. Iris Ho/HSI

China, the world’s largest market for ivory products, destroyed 6.1 tons of its confiscated stockpile. The momentous event occurred in Guangzhou, a southern port city and main transit and destination point in the global ivory trade.

Humane Society International, The Humane Society of the United States and the Jane Goodall Institute China commended the Chinese government, in particular the State Forestry Administration and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species’ China Management Authority, for joining the international community in condemning the trafficking and illegal consumption of ivory.

Tell Hong Kong to destroy its stockpile next!

Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS, said: “This is a potentially game-changing development for elephants, and an indicator of a new resolve from the government of China to crack down on illegal killing of wildlife. With both China and the United States—the two largest ivory-consuming countries—taking very public actions against the ivory trade, we hope that the plans of elephant poachers are upended in a dramatic way.”

Dr. Jane Goodall, United Nations Messenger of Peace and founder of the global Roots & Shoots program, said: “Roots & Shoots around the world has been actively seeking ways, working with other conservation NGOs and international development agencies, to stop the slaughter of tens of thousands of elephants through a massive education campaign.”

An estimated 30,000 African elephants are killed annually, and the surge in deaths is widely attributed to rising demand for ivory in China and other places. In November 2013, the United States crushed its confiscated ivory of 5.4 tons in Denver.

Certain types of ivory are still legally traded in the U.S. and China. In the U.S., criminals take advantage of legal loopholes. A 2008 study funded in part by HSI and The HSUS found that one-third of ivory sold in the U.S. may have been recently carved—meaning that it wasn’t antique or mammoth but came from recently poached elephants. In China, one estimate puts illegal trafficking behind 90 percent of ivory for sale.

This year, HSI and the Jane Goodall Institute China will launch a joint educational program on elephant protection. Young children will learn about the importance of eschewing items, such as ivory bracelets or other trinkets, to save elephants’ lives and to become ambassadors for elephants by spreading a message to not consume these products in their communities.

Media Contacts: HSI (United States): Raul Arce-Contreras, +1-240-620-3263, rcontreras@humanesociety.org; Jane Goodall Institute China (JGI China): Lei Chen Wong, +86 – 10 – 6778 – 3115, lei@jgichina.org

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