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Tue May 31 21:58:50 SAST 2016

South Africa opposes destruction of illegal ivory

Times LIVE | 14 January, 2016 15:06
A policeman arranges seized elephant tusks to be inspected at Makupa police station in Mombasa.
Image by: Joseph Okanga / REUTERS

When the Convention on Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) met in Geneva, South Africa opposed a resolution lauding the group for supporting the destruction of government ivory stockpiles.

According to the Conservation Action Trust (CAT), South Africa's representative at the meeting Thea Carroll said, “South Africa is concerned about the negative consequences of destroying stockpiles.”

South Africa's argument is that if we destroy our ivory - we will end up increasing the scarcity of the resource. This in turn will increase prices, making poaching more lucrative.

South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe are opposed to the destruction of illegal ivory, and all three made a profit when CITES approved a one time ivory sale to China and Japan in 2008.

According to the CAT this sale may have spurred the current elephant poaching crisis - which claims 30,000 elephants a year.

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