World Wildlife Fund (WWF) released the following statement today from Ginette Hemley, Senior Vice President, WWF, in response to France’s destruction of three tons of illegal elephant ivory seized by French customs.
“By destroying its ivory stockpile, France has joined a growing number of nations, including the US and China, that are taking a public stand against illegal ivory trafficking. We call on other countries to join this important trend of taking a strong public stance against the illegal wildlife trade.
Wildlife crime has reached epic proportions, and while the destruction of ivory stockpiles can be an important first step, we need governments to go much further than that. Now is the time to take concrete action to increase law enforcement on the ground, step up international anti-trafficking efforts and reduce the demand for illegal wildlife products.”
France’s decision follows the governments of the US and China, who recently have destroyed stockpiles of seized elephant ivory. Hong Kong announced last month that it will also incinerate its stockpile of seized ivory this year. Last year, an estimated 30,000 elephants were slaughtered to feed a profitable black market trade in ivory.