French Ivory to be Scrapped

5 Dec 2013

Robin des Bois has been officially requesting for over 6 months that the French Government proceed to the destruction of illegal ivory accumulated over several decades and for an inventory of stockpiles to be made public.

After some hesitation, France has finally decided to go through with this destruction. An inventory of storage places and quantities held is in the making. It will include Court registries, Natural History Museums and border police storage facilities. Total amounts could reach several tens of tons. Only a few pieces of ivory are to be kept for scientific and pedagogical reasons.

6 good reasons to destroy stockpiled ivory:

– Show the country’s determination to fight against ivory related crime.

– Avoid theft or misappropriation of seized ivory.

– Eradicate any temptation for speculation of ivory trade awaiting the possibility of reopening legal ivory trade.

– Demonstrate solidarity with African and Asian countries fighting against poaching and which deplore many victims among wildlife guardians.

– Join in the recent movement of voluntary destruction (Philippines, State of Maharashtra in India, and the United States).

– Be consistent with destruction procedures of other seized substances and articles (drugs, medicines, Chanel bags or counterfeit Lacoste shirts).

The whole arsenal of new measures announced by the French Government reveals new awareness of environmental criminality against endangered wild species. Elephant poaching and ivory trafficking take place on an industrialized scale using global logistics and mass destruction techniques such as cyanide poisoning. Between April 2013 and November 2013, seizures around the world are equivalent to 4900 elephants. According to the Interpol ratio, seizures represent only 10% of illegal trade.




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