Vietnam customs officials have seized nearly one tonne of ivory hidden in a timber shipment from Kenya, an official said Thursday, the third major illegal haul of precious tusks in less than a month.
Eastern Africa has been a major source of elephant ivory for millennia, with a sharp increase in trade witnessed during the 19th century fuelled by escalating demand from Europe and North America.
Around a half tonne of ivory hidden in a timber shipment has been seized in Vietnam, an official said Friday, the second large haul of the illegally-trafficked product in a week.
Southern African countries will Monday fight for permission to sell their ivory stockpiles, as an international wildlife conference debates how best to regulate the often illegal trade and protect Africa's elephants.
Annick Colette-Fremond is the fifth generation of her family to practise the art of ivory carving—and she may be the last of her line, due to new rules in France.
New research from the Universities of Aberdeen and Stirling suggests that lifting the ivory trade ban will not protect elephants from poachers.
In a bid to stop the killing of elephants for their tusks, world governments voted at a major conservation conference to urge the closure of all domestic ivory markets.
Singapore on Monday crushed and burnt almost eight tonnes of ivory confiscated over two years to try to deter smugglers as activists called for tighter enforcement.
French customs said Wednesday that officers had seized over 350 kilogrammes (770 pounds) of elephant tusks in recent weeks, the biggest haul of ivory in the country in ten years.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday demanded a total ban on trade in ivory to end trafficking and prevent the extinction of elephants in the wild.