Malaysia destroys 4 tons of ivory tusks, products

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SEREMBAN, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia on Tuesday destroyed nearly four tons of elephant tusks and ivory products estimated to be worth 13.26 million ringgit ($3.2 million) as part of its fight against the illegal ivory trade.

Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Xavier Jayakumar said the ivory was confiscated in 15 raids between 2011 and 2017.

The tusks, which were marked, and products such as ivory bracelets and chopsticks were shown to reporters before they were to be thrown into a large incinerator in southern Negeri Sembilan state.

Jayakumar said the tusks and products were burned to ensure they wouldn’t be stolen and sold back in the black market.

He said Malaysia is committed to eradicating trading in illegal wildlife, especially in ivory, and to stop smugglers from using Malaysia as a transit hub.

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This was the second time Malaysia has disposed of its tusk stockpile, after burning 9.5 tons worth some $20 million in 2016.

Ivory tusks are a cherished decorative craft material in Asia, with the biggest demand coming from China, resulting in the devastation of wild elephant populations in Africa.

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