AUGUST 2011 NEWS ROUNDUP
A monthly update on press coverage of the international illegal ivory trade.
This month’s seizure figures represent the death of at least 1,388 elephants, bringing the total so far this year to at least 3,104 dead elephants…
12th August – London, United Kingdom
An independent report highlighting the scale of soaring demand in southern China is released. The report notes that 90% of outlets visited and 63% of ivory items counted did not carry the required identification necessary for the legal sale of ivory. The passing of the legislation stipulating these requirements effectively paved the way to China being granted CITES approval to become an ‘ivory trading partner’ in 2008. This allowed China to purchase over 56 tonnes of tusks later the same year. Full report here
15-19th August - Geneva, Switzerland
Issues surrounding the conservation and trade in elephants, rhinos, tigers and much more are discussed at the 61st Standing Committee to CITES. See here for more details and Geneva blogs from Born Free Foundation CEO Will Travers.
21st August - Butterworth Port, nr Penang, Malaysia
A container declared as 'used plastics' is found to contain 664 elephant tusks weighing approximately 1.5 tonnes, shipped from the United Arab Emirates. Press report
24th August – Zanzibar Port, Tanzania
Five days after government delegates from many countries convened in Geneva, Switzerland (see above) to discuss among other things, the ivory trade, Tanzanian authorities seize 1,041 tusks hidden in 114 sacks of dry sardines. The shipping container they were found in was destined for Malaysia. To date, Tanzania has been implicated in more large ivory seizures than any other country. Press report and full story
27th August – Dete, Matabeleland North, Zimbabwe
Police arrest 3 men and seize 6 tusks and an AK47 rifle and ammunition in a village on the border of Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe’s largest protected area. Press report
29th August – Hong Kong Port, Hong Kong SAR, China
Customs officers impound 794 tusks weighing 1,898kg found hidden behind stones inside a shipping container sent to Hong Kong via Malaysia. At least as far back as 2009, Malaysia was identified as gaining increasing prominence as a transit country for African ivory. Press reports
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