Beijing, Jan 6 (IANS) The Chinese government Monday destroyed 6.1 tonnes of confiscated ivory, in a first of its kind move in the country, to show its resolve against illegal wildlife trafficking.
Raw tusks and carved ivory pieces, which the government has seized over the years, were dumped into two crushers and ground to rubble and ash at a ceremony held in Guangdong province, Xinhua reported.
“The event, the first public ivory destruction in China, was to demonstrate the country’s determination to discourage illegal ivory trade, protect wildlife and raise public awareness,” said Zhang Jianlong, deputy head of the State Forestry Administration (SFA).
According to the SFA, some of the pulverised ivory will be taken to museums for display to raise public awareness on wildlife protection. The rest will be stored and kept by the government.
Representatives from a number of foreign countries and international organisations also attended this event held by the SFA and the General Administration of Customs.