Singapore began destroying nine tons of elephant ivory on Tuesday (8/11). The destruction of tonnes of ivory also marks the island nation’s struggle against the illegal wildlife trade. Singapore is the point of departure for shipments of prohibited animal products between Africa and Asia. The country destroyed $ 18 million worth of ivory, including last year’s record seizure of 8.8 tonnes of ivory, which authorities say came from 300 elephants.
Destroying The Ivory Can Disrupt Illegal Ivory Trading
In the event broadcast online, workers wearing helmets were seen unloading carts full of ivory in a landfill, where the tusks were crushed with industrial crusher machines. The grinding process can take several days and the fragments will be burned. “Destruction will prevent ivory from re-entering the market and disrupt global supply chains for illegally traded ivory,” said the National Park Demolition Council, which takes place before World Elephant Day.
About 100 African elephants are killed every day by poachers looking for their ivory, meat and body parts. Poaching left only 400,000 elephants, according to conservationists’ estimates. Most of the demand for ivory comes from Asian countries, such as China and Vietnam, which is made into jewelry and ornaments. As well as taking a firm stance on transit products, Singapore said last year it would ban the domestic ivory trade from September 2021.
“Elephant hunting is at crisis levels in Asia and Africa because of the illegal trade,” said World Wildlife Fund Singapore CEO Raghunathan. Raghunathan said ivory destruction and other city-state initiatives underlined his determination to “eradicate the illegal transport of wildlife products through Singapore.” Neighboring Malaysia destroyed 9.55 tonnes of elephant ivory seized in 2016.