On Nov. 14, 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) destroyed its stockpile of seized ivory.
Credit: USFWS Mountain Prairie
Two months after the United States destroyed its stockpile of ivory for the first time in 25 years of collecting items sold in the illegal ivory trade, China is set to destroy some of its own confiscated ivory, along with other illegal wildlife products, in a public ceremony on Jan. 6.
The announcement, released by the Wildlife Conservation Society, which works with governments to curtail ivory trafficking, did not say exactly how much ivory and other material was to be destroyed or exactly how the items would be dispensed of. In the November ceremony, the United States destroyed 6 tons of ivory in a rock crusher.
The international ivory trade was banned in 1989, but black markets still thrive in parts of the world, and poachers kill an estimated 96 elephants in Africa a day to obtain their tusks, the WCS said in their statement. Elephant numbers have dropped across the continent, raising grave conservation concerns about the iconic animals.