The U.S. government has begun symbolically crushing ivory by the ton in order to raise awareness of the elephant poaching and wildlife trafficking crisis. The U.S. is not the first country to take notice. Over the past two years, more than half a dozen countries have destroyed ivory in public events. In China and the U.S., the destroyed stockpile was confiscated illegal ivory, and in other countries, like France and the UK, individuals donated ivory from their own personal possessions.
Azzedine Downes, CEO of The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), a supporting partner of the crush, states “We cannot contribute to any trade of elephant ivory, when the elephant poaching crisis today shows that the current ‘controlled’ legal trade system does not protect elephants. Instead, all indications are that as long as there is a legal market for ivory, the vicious supply and demand cycle will continue, more elephants will be killed and their ivory smuggled into these same markets. Ivory trade anywhere is a threat to elephants everywhere.”
Scroll down to see the IFAW sponsored infographic that outlines the U.S.’s role in perpetuating the ivory trade and what the government has been doing to stop it.