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  • Dec 20, 2014
  • Updated: 8:56am
NewsHong Kong

'Elephant angels' take up crusade to destroy Hong Kong tusk stockpile

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 15 September, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 15 September, 2013, 2:50am

Two young girls are leading a renewed call for Hong Kong to destroy its massive stockpile of illegally poached elephant tusks.

Their petition has attracted hundreds of supporters in just a few days.

Lucy Skrine, 11, and Christina Seigrist, eight, started an online petition last Monday, urging the government to incinerate the estimated 16 tonnes of ivory.

More than 1,000 people from across the globe have signed up so far. Its organisers aim to collect 10,000 signatures.

The girls are being supported by a newly formed Hong Kong for Elephants group, which has dubbed them "elephant angels".

The group brings together local and international NGOs such as Green Sense, Ace Foundation, and the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

Lucy said the government was failing to address an issue that was gaining worldwide attention.

"Can you imagine how many elephants died for that huge pile of tusks cluttering up our customs warehouses," the petition asks.

Plans to burn the growing stockpile were shelved earlier this year after members of the endangered species advisory committee rejected the proposal.

This decision contradicted recommendations by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, which found incineration was an effective way to destroy the ivory after a successful trial at Tsing Yi last March.

Christina, the great-great-granddaughter of revolutionary Dr Sun Yat-sen, said burning the ivory would ensure it did not get into the wrong hands and send a powerful message to poachers.

She was in Tsim Sha Tsui recently and saw a group of people crowded around a shop window displaying a carved ivory tusk.

"I was really mad," she said, adding that buying ivory was immoral.

"Elephants are one of my favourite animals but humans are ruining their lives," Christina said. "They have a right to live."

The petition also calls on Beijing to ban the domestic ivory trade, to shut shops selling ivory products and to close the 37 state-owned ivory carving factories.


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This article is now closed to comments

When you have young people doing things like this it means that there is going to be a future for wildlife.
Well done and lets hope you are successful.
I am from the same class as the girl Lucy Skrine and I am very much against her petition for a ban on Ivory trade in Hong Kong. I do not see a real big reason on why she would bother to do something like this because there is a very low chance of the government taking her petition even past the first stage, even if they manage to reach the 10,000 signers that they are aiming for. i hope they do not achieve they goal and I am proud to say this.
The other reason that i'm being this rude is because i dont really like her at school
The petition: ****secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/Hong_Kong_Government_Please_Burn_the_Confiscated_Ivory_Stockpile/
25 tonnes of ivory is wasting resources (space, manpower etc) just sitting around - IF all the ivory is still there and has not made it out the back door to China!
It is high time to end the slaughtering of these animals, be it elephants for the ivory, rhinos for their horns (Asian "medicine", dagger handles in Yemen), tigers for their ?? Information and education is of utmost importance to put an end to superstition and prestige thinking!
I admire those girls for their courage and wish them success in what they are doing. People must be more conscious of what's going on in those wildlife areas. In the South African Krüger Park around 500 (!) rhinos have been killed so far this year, only for their horn which has no medical effect at all (those who use it could just as well chew their finger or toe nails). As long as there is a demand (mostly from Asian countries), the killing of these animals will go on, and within very few years there won't be any left. Then what???
Did you know that one elephant is poached every 15 minutes because of the love for ivory. They will become extinct in the next 20 years because of the love of ivory trinkets. Did you know that elephants grieve? That the babies cry for their mothers that are brutally murdered for their tusks? Did you know that our next generation will not know what it is like to see an elephant because of the ivory trade. For anyone to say they don't care is heartbreaking. Research this, learn the facts and you will see to kill for a silly trinket is barbaric. These animals are magnificent and beautiful. They are gentle and their only predator is man for the use of their ivory.
Some animals get killed for their meat, others for their skins or teeth, and ducks for their livers. I am sorry for all of them, not just the elephants.
I love elephant and I love ivory.
that is so random
i was a bit to harsh there. but i am still against the idea
Certainly the suggestions to the government of China in curbing the crafting and sale of elephant ivory are valuable and the two girls are to be congratulated in taking their stand and inviting others to join. I do wonder whether the demand for ivory is really so insatiable that nothing can stop these poachers. What effect would dumping the entire HK haul on the open market have? Could it depress the price enough that the profit in the trade makes the slaughter no longer worth the risk? Saving the elephants is the goal. We've had 'free market' ideology trumpeted by government, media and educational institutions at every turn. Why aren't we turning to it in this case? Is it possible that using markets to foster the goals of a humane society doesn't actually work? Or at least not in all instances?
PETITION : ****www.avaaz.org/en/petition/Hong_Kong_Government_Please_Burn_the_Confiscated_Ivory_Stockpile/


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