US destroys six-ton ivory stockpile

Nov 15, 2013
Ivory tusks are displayed by the Hong Kong Customs in Hong Kong on October 3, 2013

The United States has destroyed six tons of confiscated elephant ivory, in a move wildlife groups hailed as a bold message to criminal traffickers that the ivory is worthless.

The stockpile was pulverized by an industrial rock crusher at a US Fish and Wildlife Service refuge near Denver, Colorado on Thursday.

The move was "a clear message that the nation will not tolerate crime that threatens to wipe out the African elephant and a host of other species around the globe," the FWS said in a statement.

Witnesses to the event included representatives of African nations and top conservationists from around the globe.

"Rising demand for ivory is fueling a renewed and horrific slaughter of elephants in Africa, threatening remaining populations across the continent," said Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell.

"We encourage other nations to join us in destroying confiscated ivory stockpiles and taking other actions to combat ."

The Philippines, Kenya and Gabon have already destroyed their stockpiles of ivory tusks and trinkets.

The US stockpile was accumulated over the course of 25 years, and was seized during undercover investigations of organized smuggling operations or confiscated at the border.

The FWS said most of the ivory, prior to being seized, was headed for illegal sale in the United States or overseas.

"By crushing its contraband ivory tusks and trinkets, the US government sends a signal that it will not tolerate the senseless killing of elephants," said Carter Roberts, president of World Wildlife Fund.

The multimillion dollar illegal ivory trade has driven the loss of three-quarters of all African forest elephants in the past decade, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society.

"To end the elephant poaching crisis, we know that we must take a three-pronged approach: stop the killing, stop the trafficking, stop the demand," said WCS president Cristian Samper.

The US stockpile destruction "demonstrates its own commitment to eliminating the market for illegal ivory," he said, adding that the United States could do more, such as establish a moratorium on all ivory sales within its borders.

Experts say poachers killed 35,000 elephants last year, at a rate of 96 animals per day.

Explore further: Experts 'grasping at straws' to save near-extinct rhino

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User comments : 24

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Humpty
1.3 / 5 (24) Nov 15, 2013
Nice - "The USA won't tolerate the senseless slaughter of wildlife..."

Now about the 55,000,000 people they have killed since World War II

The irradiation of Iran with 5000Kg of depleted uranium - making the place uninhabitable for eternity.....

The nasty GM foods they make and export all around the world poisoning the worlds population.

The exporting of the fast food industry that has catastrophic environmental effects.

The exporting of military hardware and political stand over merchants - who play both sides off against each other, sell lots of weapons and then move in military bases of occupation.

The manufacture and distribution of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons.

They export more death, disease and destruction to the rest of life on this planet - for profit

They consume the most resources, and pollute per capita of population, more than any other country on earth.

The Americans sure have a funny way of showing they care about life on this earth.
antialias_physorg
4.2 / 5 (6) Nov 15, 2013
in a move wildlife groups hailed as a bold message to criminal traffickers

The US stockpile was accumulated over the course of 25 years

I doubt traffickers will be impressed (or even care) about the 'message' - especially that part of it which has been confiscated 25 years ago or thereabouts.
(Also note that 6 tons over 25 years amounts to a whooping confiscation rate of one tusk every two months.)
gurloc
5 / 5 (10) Nov 15, 2013
The traffickers will be delighted that the US didn't dump this ivory onto the open market.

Poachers seek ivory because its valuable and its valuable because its rare. Destroying
6 tons of it doesn't make it less valuable it makes it more valuable.

They will have burned the ivory so about all they have accomplished is creating a few headlines and added some extra CO2 to the atmosphere.
Jeddy_Mctedder
2 / 5 (16) Nov 15, 2013
by destroying 6 tons of ivory, they've made existing stocks of ivory more valuable by making them more scarce.

you cannot destroy the network effect , the desireability of contraband, by burning some of it. it's like the idiots who get paid to save elephants are asking the DEA how to stop the ivory trade.

all these methods do is temporarily discourage the ivory trade, even something as effective as executing poachers before they even go out to collect ivory----will act merely as discouragement.

there is only ONE way to stop the ivory trade in a practical manner. make it unprofiteable on the supply side price, make it unprofiteable by flooding the market with an ivory substitute that is unrecognizeable from the real thing.

same way as dynamic with arftificial diamonds destroying the market for diamond dust and real diamonds. one day, it will happen with diamonds, it already is.

unfortunately, synthesizing artificial dentine or enamel or ivory is far more complex, than diamond.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.9 / 5 (7) Nov 15, 2013
55,000,000 people they have killed since
Im sure they all deserved it.
The irradiation of Iran... making the place uninhabitable for eternity
It will soon be too hot and barren to live there anyway.
GM foods... poisoning the worlds population... the fast food industry
The birthrate must be suppressed at all costs.
merchants - who play both sides off against each other
Dividing the people up and setting them against one another is the only way to maintain overall Stability and ensure Progress.
manufacture and distribution of nbc weapons
Only with the best of Intentions.
They export more death, disease and destruction
Well somebodys got to do it.
consume... pollute per capita
A thriving economy supports Progress and pays for world Management.
a funny way of showing they care about life on this earth
No, a funny way would be to let the people themselves, selfish people like yourself, run this world into the ground. This is NOT going to happen.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (4) Nov 15, 2013
It would increase its price and willingness of poachers and smugglers to risk their lives for its market. Not to say about lives of elephants
Before you can eliminate the enemy youve got to compel them to step out into the open, identify themselves, and declare their intentions. For this you need bait.
by flooding the market with an ivory substitute that is unrecognizeable from the real thing
Animists know the difference between real and fake. Synthetic ivory already exists

"How to Identify Synthetic Ivory and Resin"
http://www.ebay.c...4/g.html

-and it hasnt affected demand for the real thing.
there is only ONE way to stop the ivory trade in a practical manner
To stop poaching you have to eliminate the RELIGIOUS cultures 1) which overpopulate, resulting in poverty which forces people to break the law in order to survive; and 2) which support the belief that animal parts have special powers and value.
Moebius
1.8 / 5 (13) Nov 15, 2013
Seriously? There are people that don't understand they just made ivory more valuable instead of less? Stupid do-gooders.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.6 / 5 (5) Nov 15, 2013
Seriously? There are people that don't understand they just made ivory more valuable instead of less? Stupid do-gooders.
That destruction had no effect on market value whatsoever as it never would have made its way onto the market. And PR is good for signaling intent and swaying opinions.
meerling
5 / 5 (3) Nov 15, 2013
The blackmarket got the message, the message that they can raise prices because there is now NO threat of that 6 tons of stockpiled ivory will ever reach any market, ever.
To the person that 'wrote that message' from the government, you obviously failed intro to economics.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 15, 2013
now NO threat of that 6 tons of stockpiled ivory will ever reach any market, ever
No, that 6 tons was never going to reach the market, ever. Market prices are controlled by supply and demand. The only way merchants could raise prices is if the actual amount of product on the market was restricted; that is if demand exceeded supply.

Buyers were not sitting around waiting for the US to begin selling their stock which they knew would never happen.
wwqq
5 / 5 (5) Nov 15, 2013
Nice - "The USA won't tolerate the senseless slaughter of wildlife..."

The irradiation of Iran with 5000Kg of depleted uranium - making the place uninhabitable for eternity.....


Depleted uranium is a piss-weak radiation source, that's why it's still around after ~5 billion years.

Average concentration of uranium in the Earth's crust is ~3 g/ tonne, which means in the top meter of soil over the 435000 square kilometer surface of Iraq there is ~2,6 million tonnes of naturally occuring uranium(which is more radioactive than the depleted kind), including all the shorter-lived decay products(like radon) in equilibrium.

Iran; the country you confuse with Iraq; has areas of naturally occuring radiation(parts of Ramsar) worse than any of the evacuated areas around Fukushima, at around 200 mSv/year from radon and radium in streams.

The people who live there have been muched studied, but there is no statistically significant effect, because radiation is a piss-weak carcinogen.
mosahlah
1.3 / 5 (12) Nov 15, 2013
I got an idea. This is politically unacceptable, and goes against the "ends do not justify the means" philosophy I identify, but it would be fun to speculate and spread a productive rumor. There wouldn't be much left of the ivory trade if the US were to infect the ivory with persistent pathogens such as anthrax, and some other contaminate, perhaps polonium. Then let this stock slowly trickle back into the black market. Eventually the appetite for black market ivory would disappear.
mosahlah
1.3 / 5 (13) Nov 15, 2013
Humpty, I want to tell you man. YOu are a piece of work. As a US special operations soldier of 20 years, I am at the center of what you think you know about the USA, and you are living in delusions of infinite insanity. That means absolutely nothing to someone like you with your frame of reference, but just gnaw on these words once in a while. Tomorrow I'll be in Tacloban and you will be doing whatever it is that you do with yourself. Which one of us will be living in reality?
RealScience
5 / 5 (1) Nov 15, 2013
@mosahlah - it has been suggested before, but unfortunately any radiation strong enough to do damage is easy to detect, and biologicals like anthrax can be killed by heating. Also the U.S. could be accused on violation treaties against chemical and biological weapons.

But a rumor that a private organization had done this could be tried.
Sinister1811
5 / 5 (1) Nov 15, 2013
Here's hoping they find a way to stop poaching in Africa and south Asia. The western black rhino is already extinct. The Indian rhino is nearly extinct. Makes you wonder what will these assholes hunt to extinction next?
mosahlah
1 / 5 (11) Nov 16, 2013
@RealScience, i wasn't sure what the mechanism of toxicity was for polonium, other than it seems to be extreme. The russians apparently got their assassin killed back in 2009, i think, when he dosed his political victim and somehow contaminated himself. The substance is so insidious and lingering, the investigators were able to track it all over the city. I should look up the article. But, of course we couldn't pursue actually trying this. Undoubtably such actions will eventually backfire on anyone, and I'm guessing the Chinese in particular would be pretty pissed we contaminated their knick knacks. I know Anthrax is just a bacteria, and bacteria can be disinfected, but it is a particularly difficult pathogen to extinguish over a large area.
Humpty
1 / 5 (12) Nov 16, 2013
Humpty, I want to tell you man. YOu are a piece of work. As a US special operations soldier of 20 years, I am at the center of what you think you know about the USA, and you are living in delusions of infinite insanity. That means absolutely nothing to someone like you with your frame of reference, but just gnaw on these words once in a while. Tomorrow I'll be in Tacloban and you will be doing whatever it is that you do with yourself. Which one of us will be living in reality?


Go give birth to load of mutant children..... from your glow in the dark testicles.

American shit head.

RealScience
not rated yet Nov 16, 2013
@mosahlah - polonium 210 (used for the Litvinenko assassination you refer to) is an alpha emitter. It has a half life of a few months, and so emits a lot of radiation while still hanging around long enough to be usable for assassination or to be traced around a city).

Decay-energy alpha particles are fairly easy to block (skin will block them), but if the emitter is ingested they do their damage from the inside and are more harmful than beta- or gamma-emitting decays.
kochevnik
1 / 5 (6) Nov 16, 2013
@Humpty Nice The Americans sure have a funny way of showing they care about life on this earth.
Americans themselves confess they're meaner than other people. You can see this in their bland/white thinking like "zero tolerance" which equates a child making a bad joke with crimes of Attaullah the Hun. "Zero tolerance" is simply American intolerance. No different than the Taliban

I laughed when I pulled up the trading chart of the US dollar. It collapsed the day baby Bush took presidency, and fell every week down 40% until Obama won. Since 2008 it went nowhere. Real money knows what USA is
Moebius
2.1 / 5 (7) Nov 17, 2013
Seriously? There are people that don't understand they just made ivory more valuable instead of less? Stupid do-gooders.
That destruction had no effect on market value whatsoever as it never would have made its way onto the market. And PR is good for signaling intent and swaying opinions.


Exactly, it had no effect. Putting it on the market would have decreased demand for illegal ivory, even if only a little.
jmlvu
5 / 5 (2) Nov 17, 2013
You could stain the living elephants tusks purple like greenpeace did with baby seals. Make the Ivory worthless to sell.
RealScience
4 / 5 (1) Nov 17, 2013
@kmlvu - interesting idea. It would be best to find a dye that would penetrate deep into the ivory.
mosahlah
1 / 5 (1) Nov 25, 2013
@mosahlah - polonium 210 (used for the Litvinenko assassination you refer to) is an alpha emitter. It has a half life of a few months, and so emits a lot of radiation while still hanging around long enough to be usable for assassination or to be traced around a city).

Decay-energy alpha particles are fairly easy to block (skin will block them), but if the emitter is ingested they do their damage from the inside and are more harmful than beta- or gamma-emitting decays.


fascinating fact, and useful knowledge. I don't plan on needing to know that, but I will store it away anyway.
mosahlah
1 / 5 (1) Nov 25, 2013


Go give birth to load of mutant children..... from your glow in the dark testicles.

American shit head.



Cute. It speaks little words when you press it's button.

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