On Friday, WildAid attended an ivory destruction event in Beijing, where nearly 1,500 pounds of tusks and carvings were destroyed.
During the event, Zhao Shucong, head of China’s State Forestry Administration, announced that China "will strictly control ivory processing and trade until the commercial processing and sale of ivory and its products are eventually halted.”
Lang Lang, one of the world’s most famous classical pianists performing today, has stepped up to fight the global ivory trade in a stirring new public service announcement (PSA) to be distributed throughout his native China, the world’s largest market for ivory.
As part of the Ivory Free campaign sponsored by WildAid, African Wildlife Foundation and Save the Elephants, Lang Lang’s PSA aims to educate the public on the toll that both legal and illegal ivory sales are taking on Africa’s elephants: An estimated 33,000 are poached annually.
HONG KONG (May 26, 2015) — The Hong Kong public overwhelmingly supports a comprehensive ban on elephant ivory sales, according to a survey by the University of Hong Kong’s Public Opinion Programme released Tuesday.
The new poll found that 75% of residents interviewed expressed support for outlawing ivory sales, which are currently poorly regulated in Hong Kong. Of those in favor, 55% “very much support” a ban, while 21% “quite support.” Additionally, three-quarters of respondents agreed that the Hong Kong government should stop issuing new ivory possession licenses.
Over the past two weeks, authorities in multiple countries have arrested smugglers and seized major shipments of illegal wildlife products in Africa and Asia, including rhino horn, elephant ivory and pangolin scales.
The largest such seizure occurred earlier this week in Singapore, where an estimated $6 million in ivory tusks, rhino horn and teeth believed to be from cheetahs and leopards were found stashed in a shipping container filled with bags of tea leaves.
In each of these six separate cases, the shipments were en route to Vietnam and/or China, or involved smuggling by nationals of those countries.