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In Brief

China to Destroy Confiscated Illegal Ivory on Monday

On Nov. 14, 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) destroyed its stockpile of seized ivory. (Image 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.

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Andrea Thompson
Andrea Thompson

Andrea Thompson is an associate editor at Scientific American, where she covers sustainability, energy and the environment. Prior to that, she was a senior writer covering climate science at Climate Central and a reporter and editor at Live Science, where she primarily covered Earth science and the environment. She holds a graduate degree in science health and environmental reporting from New York University, as well as a bachelor of science and and masters of science in atmospheric chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology.