Jay argues that the contest does little to decrease the demand, and in fact could possibly provide an avenue for more ivory to sneak into the market if it wasn't carefully guarded.
"Most importantly, not incinerating it, and allowing the crushed material to be cast into a sculpture or work of any sort will only create another loophole for other countries to exploit," she told The Dodo. "Instead of disclosing stockpiles, they can claim the entire stockpile was used to create a visual statement piece that allegedly educates and describes the horrors of the trade, all the while leaking shards back into the black market. It creates a disastrous new narrative trend for tusks worldwide."
Gavin Shire, Chief of Public Affairs for USFWS, told The Dodo that while he understands Jay's concerns, the agency feels that the contest, like the Denver crush ceremony, will be a way to educate people about the poaching problem that will last in perpetuity.
"Built into the challenge criteria are specific instructions saying that the winning design will not create intrinsic value to the ivory - it needs to be educational opportunity," he said. Shire added that there is little demand for crushed ivory, and that the winning design would be kept secure and out of the hands of traders after its creation.