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Response to media enquiries on review of disposal of forfeited ivory

     In response to media enquiries on the result of the review of the disposal of forfeited ivory, a spokesman for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) responded today (January 23) as follows:
     The Endangered Species Advisory Committee in principle agreed unanimously to the AFCD's proposed disposal of forfeited ivory in the government stockpile by incineration at a meeting today.

     Apart from retaining a small amount of ivory for potential uses permitted under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), all the forfeited ivory stockpile will be disposed of by incineration.

     The AFCD will work out an implementation plan. It is expected that the disposal can start in the first half of 2014 and be completed in about one to two years.

     All species of elephant were listed in CITES Appendix I in 1989. Since then, the international commercial trade in elephant ivory has been prohibited except under specific and stringent circumstances permitted under CITES.

     Use of specimens of endangered species for scientific, enforcement, identification and education purposes is allowed under the CITES guidelines. In case use for such purposes is not practicable, keeping the specimens in storage or disposal by destruction is also permitted.

     The AFCD strictly adheres to the CITES principles in the use of forfeited ivory, and over the years has donated a portion of its stockpile mainly to local schools for conservation education. In view of the management burden and the security risk generated by prolonged storage of the forfeited ivory stockpile, the AFCD considers it necessary to dispose of ivory by destruction.

Ends/Thursday, January 23, 2014
Issued at HKT 18:50


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