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Many Asians unaware of slaughter

The « third large seizure of ivory in a year in Hong Kong » (« 150 elephants died for ivory load », November 17) has highlighted the rampant demand in Asian countries for these illegal tusks.


Despite the efforts of wildlife activists worldwide, people continue to operate this illegal trade, driven by greed. They let their desire for economic gain override concerns over the deaths of elephants.


It is a very sad story. As well as the threat of extinction faced by a species, people also die as poachers battle with rangers in Africa's national parks.


Also some of the money made from selling ivory is then used to purchase weapons used in the continent's various conflicts.

Given that wild animals cross borders between nations, there must be an international consensus to curb the killing.


Governments also need to put pressure on the nations where there is greatest demand for the ivory and on transit countries.


There also needs to be greater education so that people come to realise the consequences of buying ivory and other products that put at risk endangered species such as, for example, seahorses, tigers, rhinos, pangolins and sharks.

For instance, many Asian people may not realise how many elephants are killed for their tusks.


They need to appreciate that, if the killing continues on this scale, eventually we will only see pictures of elephants in the wild in books and on videos.


Next year, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species will be holding a meeting to discuss the poaching of ivory.


I expect it to come up with effective measures to stop the bloodshed.



October 03, 2012

Ivory market an example of inhumanity


Badges of wealth vary widely, from jewels to Rolex watches. In recent decades, however, there has come another one –ivory- which is regarded as both a symbol of status and a substance from which religious icons are made.


As a result, however, African elephants have been the victims of this outrageous trend.


For the sake of satisfying the limitless hunger of ivory collectors, especially the rich in China, at least 25,000 elephants are killed every year. Picture the scene. Smell the death. It’s cruel and inhumane.


In 1997, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe was quoted as saying elephants must pay for their room and board with their ivory. That is totally ridiculous. We, humans, share the right to live on this lovely earth. But people have the responsibility to protect it and Dr Jane Goodall, a primatologist who has devoted all her energy to saving endangered species, was quoted as saying: “If we are the most intellectual creature that has ever walked on the planet, how come we are destroying that planet?”


The supply of ivory is no longer sustainable. It is time for us to rectify our mistakes before an irreversible disaster occurs. Please stop killing elephants!


As a Form Three student, I cannot do anything to help with the situation except to plead with countries worldwide to stop devastating a species that is already losing ground. Before they become extinct, let’s save them, and our planet as well.