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WWF Statement on Thailand’s Destruction of Two Tons of Ivory

In response to the Thailand government crushing more than two tons of confiscated elephant ivory, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) issued the following statement from Ginette Hemley, Senior Vice President of Wildlife Conservation:

“Thailand is sending a strong signal that it is committed to this historic fight against the illegal trade of ivory.

“As one of the largest ivory markets in the world, Thailand has a critical role to play in ending the mass slaughter of Africa’s elephants. By choosing to conduct an independent audit of the ivory stockpile prior to destruction, Thailand is demonstrating the rigorous steps it’s taking to stamp out illegal ivory trade and regulate its domestic market. WWF is proud to have participated in the audit, which involved weighing, measuring, and matching each piece of ivory against official records to ensure that no ivory would be leaked back onto the black market.

“This destruction comes on the heels of recent major commitments from the U.S. and China to restrict their own ivory markets, and further underscores that illegal ivory trade is a global problem requiring global solutions.

“As governments continue to step up efforts to end poaching, trafficking, and the demand for ivory, we are moving in the right direction, but it is also a reminder that more work remains to be done to bring an end to the massive illegal ivory trade.”