Breaking News for the Ivory Trade

Yesterday a joint operation between multiple Kenyan authorities resulted in the seizure of over 3 tonnes of ivory concealed in a container and declared as peanuts. The ivory was impounded in Mombasa and thought to be destined for Malaysia, a key country implicated in the transit of illegal ivory.

Recently, Kenya Wildlife Service, Kenya Revenue Authority and Kenya Ports Authority have been cracking down on ivory smuggling, making two huge seizures in just one week. Yesterday’s seizure, consisting of over 382 whole tusks (some weighing as much as 60kg each) and 62 cut pieces, comes hot on the heels of last week’s 1.4 tonne seizure, comprising over 775 worked and raw ivory pieces.

The number of elephants killed through poaching is now at its highest in some areas since the late 1980’s, despite the 1989 trade ban. The high and increasing trade and its black market value have at least in part been caused by two legal sales of large stockpiles of government ivory to Japan and China, allowing illegal ivory to be laundered into the poorly regulated legal market. The recent spike in the volume of ivory seized by law enforcement agencies around the world highlights this alarming trend.

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