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Confiscated ivory destroyed

The first destruction of confiscated ivory in South Asia has taken place in Sri Lanka on 26 January, International Customs Day.


Some 1.5 tonnes of confiscated illegal ivory were crushed at the event, which was the first of its kind to include a religious ceremony in honour of the elephants killed.


Held in the presence of Ministers, Members of Parliament and the Diplomatic Corps, the destruction served to raise local, national and global awareness about the devastating impacts of illegal trade in elephant ivory and of the determination of Sri Lanka and the global community to put an end to it.


“Trading in illegal ivory is shifting from low risk, high profit to high risk, low profit. The destruction of confiscated ivory in Sri Lanka sends a clear signal that illegally traded elephant ivory will not have any future commercial value,” CITES Secretary-General John E. Scanlon underlined at the event, while recognising the great work of Sri Lanka Customs in intercepting the illegally traded ivory in transit.


During his visit to Sri Lanka, Mr Scanlon met with H. E. President Sirisena of Sri Lanka, the Hon. Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, Hon. Minister Perera and others including civil society representatives, gaining a sense of a renewed commitment to wildlife, tackling illicit wildlife trafficking and to CITES.


Sri Lanka was the first country to request the deployment of a Wildlife Incident Support Team under the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime, in response to a CITES Decision adopted in Bangkok in 2013.


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