National News

Hong Kong starts destroying ivory cache

A worker monitors a screen, center, showing the confiscated ivory being burnt in a rotary kiln at a chemical waste treatment center in Hong Kong Thursday, May 15, 2014. Hong Kong has started incinerating its nearly 30-ton stockpile of confiscated ivory to show it
A worker monitors a screen, center, showing the confiscated ivory being burnt in a rotary kiln at a chemical waste treatment center in Hong Kong Thursday, May 15, 2014. Hong Kong has started incinerating its nearly 30-ton stockpile of confiscated ivory to show it's serious about cracking down on an illegal wildlife trade that is devastating Africa's elephant population. Authorities on Thursday destroyed the first batch by burning a metric ton of elephant tusks in a rotary kiln. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
— image credit:

By The Associated Press

HONG KONG - Hong Kong started incinerating its nearly 30-ton stockpile of confiscated ivory on Thursday to show it's serious about cracking down on an illegal wildlife trade that is devastating Africa's elephant population.

Authorities destroyed the first batch by burning a metric ton of elephant tusks and carved ivory figurines and bracelets in a rotary kiln.

Destroying the 28-ton stockpile, which is one of the world's biggest, is expected to take until mid-2015. The fine dark grey ash left after incineration will be mixed with cement and lime and dumped in a landfill. About 1.6 tons of ivory will be kept for educational or scientific purposes.

The destruction follows similar initiatives in the past year by Belgium, France, China, the U.S. and the Philippines.

Hong Kong's stockpile has bulged as customs agents have intercepted a series of big shipments of smuggled ivory in recent years. The busts highlight the former British colony's role as a transshipment hub for ivory shipped from Africa to mainland China, where demand is growing because of rising incomes.

Ivory can fetch up to $2,400 a kilogram in China, according to the International Fund for Animal Welfare, which estimates poachers kill 35,000 elephants a year for their tusks, risking the animal's extinction in the wild.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Turning on the Christmas tree lights in Barriere
 
Lemon Creek spill case can move forward
 
Tourism Kelowna loves the look of the new Super, Natural BC
Diesel price stays stubbornly high as crude drops
 
MLA sues political opponent for incident at 2013 all candidates forum
 
Christmas Bird Count Takes Place Saturday in Kelowna
L.V. Rogers talent show blasts into school holidays
 
Shopping Spree winner makes the most of her winnings
 
Cooke siblings travelling to Europe to compete in Freeride World Tour

Community Events, December 2014

Add an Event


Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Dec 18 edition online now. Browse the archives.