Photographs shared from various news agencies showing the inaugural ivory crushing in the US.
“We’re trying to tell organized syndicates and cartels who are now involved in the illegal ivory trade that we’re going to do whatever we can to take the value out of ivory and do whatever we can to put them in jail,”-Edward Grace, deputy chief with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement.
“With this action (the crushing of ivory), the United States is sending a simple but powerful message to the sadistic poachers who kill elephants and other animals, and to all the traffickers who transport illicit cargo and the consumers who purchase these illicit goods: “You cannot and must not mistake our seriousness.”- John Kerry, Secretary of State, USA.
Critics argue the “ivory crush”-like earlier events in Gabon, Kenya and the Philippines- will do little to stem the illegal ivory trade. Michael ‘t Sas-Rolfes, a conservation economist with the Property and Environmental Research Center, warns today’s crush could have unintended consequences.
“The ill-conceived [U.S. Fish and Wildlife] gesture could create the perception that ivory is anincreasingly scarce commodity on illegal markets, leading to higher prices and further poaching,” he said.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service disagrees.
“This ivory would never be made available to the market,” the agency said in a statement. “Its destruction has no impact on the overall supply and does not create any incentive for poaching. By demonstrating our commitment to combat poaching and illegal trade, and to arrest and prosecute people who engage in these activities, we are providing a strong disincentive to poachers and wildlife traffickers.” (Above story shared from ABCNews - click to read full details)