China / Society

China destroys 6.1 tons of seized ivory

By Yang Yao in Dongguan ( Updated: 2014-01-06 15:29

China, for the first time, destroyed 6.1 tons of confiscated elephant ivory on Monday.

At 3:30 pm, Chinese wildlife watchdog, the State Forestry Administration and the General Administration of Customs, pulverized 6.1 ton of illegal ivory items in Dongguan, Guangdong province, ranging from elephant tusks, to smaller carved ivory items.

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) banned the international ivory trade in 1989 but allowed China to legally buy 62 tons of ivory in 2008.

A CITES report published last year found that elephant poaching was at its highest level in a decade and rising.

An international environmental NGO, the Wildlife Conservation Society, estimates that an average of 96 elephants are killed every day for their ivory, putting elephant populations in some countries at risk of extinction.

"We want to send a clear message that China will not tolerate ivory trafficking," said Zhang Jianlong, deputy administrator of the State Forestry Administration.

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