• Thu
  • Dec 25, 2014
  • Updated: 6:24pm
NewsHong Kong

Burning of huge ivory stash starts Thursday

PUBLISHED : Monday, 12 May, 2014, 4:45am
UPDATED : Monday, 12 May, 2014, 4:45am

The destruction of the city's massive stockpile of seized ivory will begin on Thursday, with top officials standing witness and the world's media expected to take note.

About three tonnes of ivory - 10 per cent of the stockpile - will be incinerated at Tsing Yi chemical waste treatment plant. The other 27 tonnes will be destroyed in a further dozen incinerations.

Hong Kong's role as a centre of the illegal ivory trade means it has one of the largest stockpiles of seized ivory. Officials hope their decision to destroy it will send a message to the world that the slaughter of elephants for their tusks will not be tolerated.

The tusks are often carved into elaborate artworks or turned into jewellery or chopsticks, with a huge market for the resulting products on the mainland.

Major retailers Chinese Arts and Crafts and Wing On stopped selling ivory after the government's Endangered Species Advisory Committee voted in January to burn the stockpile, a year after rejecting the idea.

Thursday's audience will include Environment Secretary Wong Kam-sing; Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department head Alan Wong Chi-kong; acting customs chief Luke Au-yeung Ho-lok; and Dr Paul Shin Kam-shing, chairman of the government's Endangered Species Advisory Committee.

Also expected is Dr Meng Xianlin, who oversees Beijing's commitment to the international Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites).

A government message posted on a Hong Kong elephant conservation Facebook page said: "The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, with the support of the Endangered Species Advisory Committee, has decided to dispose of the bulk of the ivory stockpile.

"The ceremony will signify the commencement of the first ivory incineration in Hong Kong and promulgate the protection and conservation of elephants."


For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive



This article is now closed to comments

damn fools
the ivory should be crushed and used as bedrock for a walkway , Elephant walk, as a permanent exhibition for generations to come
Ivory has an extremely low calorific value so they will have to keep adding oil or coal to make it burn which is really good for our environment , not
Hong Kong Government, Ban Ivory Sales Now!
Here's a message from the petition organisers; Nellie Shute, aged 12, Lucy Skrine (柯嵐), aged 11, Christina Seigrist (孫藍慧), aged 9, Tommy Tsui (徐日彰), aged 10, and Illeana Li (李思睿), aged 9, who all live and go to school in Hong Kong.
Elephants are being slaughtered by the thousands, and we’re ashamed to say that Hong Kong is a big part of the problem. That’s why we want the government to ban all trade in ivory while there are still some elephants left.
It’s a sickening, cruel trade that is an embarrassment to Hong Kong and leaves a bloody, indelible stain on its reputation as Asia’s World City.
The illegal trade is clearly out of control and the only way to tackle it is to stop the ivory trade altogether, and immediately.
We sincerely thank 'Chinese Arts & Crafts (HK) Ltd' and 'Wing On Department Store' for recently stopping all their sales of blood ivory. We believe it will now be much easier for us to ask the government for a permanent ivory sales ban.
In the meantime, please help us by signing our petition, because the killing of elephants has to stop.
And that's why we want the Hong Kong government to stop not just at destroying the 29.6 tonne ivory stockpile, but to BAN ALL IVORY SALES NOW!


SCMP.com Account