India Burns Smuggled Ivory. And France?

30 Jul 2013

Today, the state of Maharashtra will burn precious animal materials that have been seized by anti-poaching organizations. The leopard and tiger fur that was priced at about €12,000 a piece, along with the tusks of ivory that are sold on the black market from €1,500/kg for up to €5,500/kg, will be completely destroyed.

The state of Kerala is getting ready to do the same with their stock of 3 tons of ivory that has been seized over the past 20 years.

The Indian authorities will be taking advantage of the widespread presence of spectators to raise awareness, thereby doubling their efforts in the fight against environmental crime by enforcing both International regulations and Indian law for the protection of animals.

Robin des Bois sent an official request to the French Minister of Ecology on July 18th, 2013, requesting the rapid destruction of ivory stockpiles seized by French customs and other authorities. The amount of stock that has been accumulating since the enactment of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES) Agreement is unknown to the public; there could be upwards of ten tons. While the destruction of drugs or counterfeit money usually happens immediately after government seizure, ivory is conserved, as if the French government hopes to one day put it back on the market. In addition, these smuggled animal materials run the risk of being stolen by highly specialized gangs. Not even the French authorities are immune to loss.

India is not the first country to take such action. The Philippines, Gabon, and Kenya have already voluntarily destroyed seized stockpiles of ivory.




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