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Anti-Poaching Action taken by the United States: destroying seized Ivory & $1 million bounty

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posted on Nov, 15 2013 @ 12:22 PM
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Yesterday, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service crushed over 6 tons of illegal ivory seized over the past 25 years, in an effort to show that there is no value in the product.

“We want to send a clear message that the United States will not tolerate ivory trafficking and the toll it is taking on elephant populations, particularly in Africa,” the Fish & Wildlife Service notes in a factsheet released ahead of Thursday’s ivory crush.

Only 3 other countries have done so: the Phillipines in June, and Kenya and Gabon in the past 2 years.

According to the article, poaching is at a decade high, and growing.

Elephant poaching is currently at its worst point in a decade, with an estimated 95 elephants being killed every day, particularly in Africa.


Consumer demand is also spiking in Asia, particularly in China. According to a U.N. report released earlier this year, large seizures of ivory bound for Asia have more than doubled since 2009.

source

Secretary of State Kerry announced a $1 million reward to anyone who can bring down a Laos-based poaching network:

The reward, the first of its kind by the State Department, targeted the Xaysavang network which operates from Laos as far afield as South Africa, Mozambique, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, and China.

source

This is a great step, if long overdue. More countries need to step up and destroy their stockpiles of ivory, instead of hoarding it.

More needs to be done, if we want future generations to be able to experience the majesty of elephants and rhinos.




posted on Nov, 15 2013 @ 12:31 PM
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Interesting idea. Any black market trade is very hard to snuff out. And while this is a good attempt, I wonder how much would get diverted before getting destroyed. As long as there is some kind of market out there it will still happen.

Now, more importantly, why haven't genetic engineering companies made an effort to make ivory in a lab? They have been able to grow meat in a lab so I wonder if it's doable. Couldn't find anything online, but what's out there suggests Ivory is near $1000/lb. Seems like it might be economically feasible even in lab settings.

Flooding the market with lab grown ivory also seems like it would cut poaching down.



posted on Nov, 15 2013 @ 12:38 PM
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What I don't understand about this action of destroying existing impounded ivory, is that it makes elephant ivory even more rare. Scarce. I always thought that scarcity of any commodity made it more expensive. Makes the prices higher.

So If destroying this stuff makes scarcity then isn't this going to encourage ivory collection?

But wait.... Knowing the honest nature of the US government, maybe they didn't really destroy 25 years worth of impounded ivory. Maybe they only said they did. And with the world believing that all of it was destroyed, the prices going up due to scarcity, that would make the impounded stockpiles even more valuable. And with the popularity of ivory in China, maybe they trade some of the NOT destroyed ivory to China.
edit on 15-11-2013 by TerryMcGuire because: But wait.... Knowing the honest nature of the US government, maybe they didn't really destroy 25 years worth of impounded ivory. Maybe they only said they did. And with the world believing that all of it was destroyed, the prices going up due to scarcity, that would make the impounded stockpiles even more valuable. And with the popularity of ivory in China, maybe they trade some of the NOT destroyed ivory to China.



posted on Nov, 15 2013 @ 12:39 PM
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reply to post by boncho
 


Actually that is a great idea, and I too wonder why it hasn't been done. We can grow diamonds and all other gems, so why not Ivory?
Although, now that I think about it, the lab grown gems haven't brought down the value of the real ones, so that might not help.

I saw this on the news last night, and teared up over the videos of the dead elephants. I just wish more was being done to stop the poachers.

I did wonder why they didn't just sell all that ivory, and give all the proceeds twards stopping the poaching.
edit on 15-11-2013 by chiefsmom because: afterthought



posted on Nov, 15 2013 @ 12:44 PM
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reply to post by boncho
 


I think that is a great idea, too. I did some searching, and unfortunately, current ivory substitutes are deemed "unsatisfactory" for sculpting. Discovery News
We (well peeps with the know-how) need to keep trying...



posted on Nov, 15 2013 @ 12:46 PM
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reply to post by Olivine
 


Lots of governments destroy seized Ivory in public displays. This doesn't stop poaching. If you think about it, it makes Ivory even more valuable because there is less of it on the market. What sort of value does that place on the remaining elephants?

At least if they distributed it (sold it even) they could use the money to hunt down the poachers, which is where the real problem lies. After all, the elephants are dead already. They gave their all to just see their trophies burned? Many governments are even complicit with the poaching, reaping profits from the illicit trade themselves. Six tons of ivory is a drop in the bucket. Burning Ivory in effigy makes them look good and only worsens the problem.

IMO
edit on 15-11-2013 by intrptr because: speling



posted on Nov, 15 2013 @ 12:55 PM
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reply to post by TerryMcGuire
 

Pics or it didn't happen, eh?


All I've found so far is the photo of the pile at Rocky Mountain Arsenal Wildlife refuge.

It is sad that these animals died for no reason, but I think turning the ivory into art or selling it to fund anti-poaching efforts would continue to give it value.

There is no easy answer, that's certain.



edit on 11/15/2013 by Olivine because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 15 2013 @ 01:00 PM
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reply to post by Olivine
 


That's wonderful news! If people know that if they buy ivory when caught it will be destroyed rather than "grandfathered" maybe they will think twice before supporting such barbaric practices as killing animals for specific body parts. Hopefully more restrictions regarding other illegal animal parts will be forthcoming!
The elephants may be a wee bit safer at least in countries which enforce the regulations, but there are many, many more animals that still need help before they are hunted to extinction for nothing but monetary gain.



posted on Nov, 15 2013 @ 01:03 PM
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I'm glad to hear they did this. I'm also surprised but happy to see they totally destroyed it all, rather than 'salvaging it' for other uses. If they'd done that, people would be screaming that they scammed some for themselves or peddled it out the back door for profit..whatever the theory would be then, they wouldn't win either way they handled it.

As it stands, they show they really mean NO on Ivory. It really is about time. They want a use for armed drones and the pilots well after the wars? Contract them out to African nations in support of game warden operations across the preserves. Hunt and kill the poachers. No mercy. No second chances. No exceptions.

If they're observed stalking and poaching prohibited game, then poach THEM. Give the Million to the pilots that make the shot. The elephants won't even know why they'd owe those guys more than money can ever pay. We'd all know though.



posted on Nov, 15 2013 @ 01:31 PM
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As an American I didn't expect them to destroy it. We don't have the best track record as far as "doing the right thing".
Glad we did the right thing on this one.



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