Is it a waste when we publicly destroy ivory?
I am often asked, shouldn't we sell the ivory and use those funds for elephant conservation?
To which I answer: We cannot contribute to any trade of elephant ivory, when the elephant poaching crisis today shows that the current "controlled" legal trade system does not protect elephants.
Instead, all indications are that as long as there is a legal market for ivory, the vicious supply and demand cycle will continue, more elephants will be killed and their ivory smuggled into these same markets. Ivory trade anywhere is a threat to elephants everywhere.
More than being a keystone species in Africa and Asia, elephants are highly intelligent animals, with deep family bonds. They show love, compassion and grief. We need to focus on the fact that these animals have more value alive, than brutally slaughtered and sold piecemeal.
By standing with USFWS this week in publicly destroying this ivory, we demonstrate our commitment to their enforcement and confiscation efforts. And we hope you'll stand with us in our demand reduction, community development and education efforts.