Conservationists are applauding the move. "The Belgian government should be saluted for taking a firm and public stand on ivory trafficking and working to save the world's threatened elephants," said Sonja Van Tichelen, IFAW's European Regional Director. "Not only are we losing an elephant every 15 minutes but the ivory trade is undercutting law and order in elephant range states and enriching organised crime syndicates – the slaughter of elephants must be stopped."
The county follows in the wake of several others -- China and the U.S. each crushed a six-ton pile in the past few months, while the Philippines destroyed five tons last June. Hong Kong announced a plan to incinerate 28 tons over the next two years, and France became the first European country to destroy its ivory last month.