NEW YORK (Sputnik) – US government and environmental groups publicly destroyed more than a ton of confiscated ivory in the heart of New York City to raise awareness of the illegal trade, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) said in a statement on Friday.
“The event sends the message that the United States will not tolerate this illegal trade,” the statement read. “The crush will also educate people about the harm buying ivory can do and how they can help in the fight to save the elephants.”
The United States is among the world’s largest consumers of legal and illegal wildlife products, the US Fish and Wildlife Service added.
In 2012, over 34,000kg of ivory was seized worldwide, according to a report by the International Fund for Animal Welfare. The report also details that an estimated 25,000 elephants were killed in 2011 for their ivory.