Wildlife group calls for ivory ban
11 January 2012, 10:30
Cape Town - The International Fund for Animal
Welfare (Ifaw) on Tuesday called for a complete ban of the trade in
ivory after the seizure in Malaysia of an illegal ivory consignment
shipped from Cape Town.
"The operations with Interpol are vital
for saving elephants now, but ultimately we need a complete ban on ivory
trade, if we are to stamp out the trade," said Kelvin Alie, the
director of Ifaw's wildlife crime and consumption programme.
officers discovered elephant tusks, weighing 500kg and worth R6.1m,
hidden in a container labelled "polyester and strand matting" in Port
Klang, Malaysia. The port of origin was Cape Town.
mid-November a consignment of 33 rhinoceros horns, 758 elephant ivory
chopsticks and 127 ivory bracelets, with a street value of R140m was
intercepted in Hong Kong in packages labelled "scrap plastic" from a
vessel that had departed from Cape Town.
The organisation Traffic
said recently that 2011 was the worst year ever for ivory seizures
globally, with 23 tons of ivory confiscated. There had also been a
dramatic increase in the number of seizures weighing over 800kg.
Most ivory is destined for Asian markets, the largest by far being China.
too soon to label Cape Town the latest transit point for illegal ivory
en route to Asia, but the seizures and arrests of the last eight weeks
are large enough to be sufficiently worrying and demand the immediate
attention of local authorities," Ifaw's Southern Africa director Jason