Illegal Ivory Trade Increases
Trade in illegal ivory is growing, according to the monitoring group, Traffic. The group blame East Asian organised crime for the increase, who gather ivory in Africa to smuggle back to Asia. Little of the material is shipped to the West, with most being sold in China. Traffic claim that seizures have doubled, and there are now around 3 per day.
Sue Lieberman, director of the global species programme at the WWF, said, "The Asian market is the key. It is thriving again in Thailand, and a lot of Chinese businesses have moved into Africa, for example timber companies, which means more ivory is coming out."
Unfortunately, for certain war-torn countries in Africa, ivory is not a priority, making it relatively easy for poachers and smugglers, "With myriad conflicts, central Africa is currently haemorrhaging ivory," said Tom Milliken of Traffic. :: BBC