China, the country with the world's largest black market trade for elephant tusks, destroyed a 6-ton stockpile of ivory on Monday, in a move that conservationists hailed as a powerful symbolic act for the nation. The pile of ivory ornaments, carvings and tusks was fed into a pulverizing machine -- assuaging fears that the pile would be burned, which doesn't always destroy it in entirety.
Conservationists praised China for destroying the ivory, which can sell for $2,000 per kilogram, says AP:
The International Fund for Animal Welfare said the destruction was a powerful symbolic act that shows that the Chinese government is "concerned about the toll ivory trafficking is taking on elephant populations, as well as the other threats to regional security that arise in connection with wildlife crime."
Ivory destruction in countries along the trade chain "clearly tells consumers everywhere that ivory buying is unethical and wrong," IFAW CEO Azzedine Downs, who attended the event, said in a statement. IFAW estimates that more than 35,000 elephants were killed last year by poachers for ivory.