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Asia’s biggest ever illegal ivory haul

22/04/2011 20:06:13

DANGER: The unrelenting demand for ivory – and the escalating black-market price – leaves elephants at risk

More than 700 tusks confiscated

April 2011: A massive haul of ivory - described as one of the biggest ever - of 707 tusks, 32 ivory bracelets and a rhino horn, has been netted in a routine patrol by Chinese officials.

The confiscation comes just two weeks after Thailand customs officials found 247 elephant tusks concealed inside a consignment of frozen fish from Kenya.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) has praised the Chinese authorities on this achievement but warns that this is just one shipment in a sickening illegal trade that threatens the continued existence of elephants in some countries.

'We are concerned about the unrelenting demand'
‘We congratulate the law enforcement officials for the successful interception of the ivory,' said Grace Ge Gabriel, IFAWAsia regional director. ‘However, we are concerned about the unrelenting demand for elephant ivory in China, where the price of ivory has increased dramatically in recent years. 

‘The high profit margin that can be gained in the illegal trade of ivory is fuelling rampant smuggling and trafficking.'
Chinese police say they confiscated the ivory, valued at around £11million, in a highway inspection in Guangxi Province earlier this month.

‘We have to reduce demand for ivory or we will never bring this bloody onslaught to an end,' continued Gabriel. ‘To break every link in this trade chain - from supply to trafficking to demand - needs high-level political commitment from governments of the elephant-range states and consuming countries to crack down on poaching, smuggling and the trade in ivory.'

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