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Hong Kong Destroys Record 28 Tons of Illegal Ivory

Fri, 16 May 2014 02:33:01 +0000

Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images(HONG KONG) -- The Hong Kong government began the destruction of the largest stockpile of illegal elephant ivory on record Thursday, starting the process of breaking down all 28 tons.

It's expected to take a year to destroy the most recent batch. The move is part of efforts to combat the illegal ivory trade, part of what the World Wildlife Fund calls "an elephant poaching crisis."

Hong Kong is home to a major transit hub and market for the product, ranked fifth in the world for ivory seizures. In 2013, an estimated 30,000 elephants were killed for black market purposes.

“The government must follow this with strengthened enforcement and tightened monitoring of ivory sales,” Ginette Hemley, a senior vice president at the WWF, said in a statement.

Within the last two years, China, the United States, Chad, and France all destroyed their stockpiles.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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