.     The US Fish and Wildlife Service destroyed 6 tons of elephant ivory yesterday to send a message to poachers that illegal ivory will be confiscated and smugglers will be punished.

The pile of ivory, seized over the last 25 years, included carved decorations and ornaments and jewellery. They are still deciding what to do with the fragments left by the crusher.

Wildlife service Director Daniel Ashe said: “The United States is part of the problem because much of the world’s trade in wild animal and plant species – both legal and illegal – is driven by U.S. consumers or passes through our ports on the way to other nations.”

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell stated: “Rising demand for ivory is fueling a renewed and horrific slaughter of elephants in Africa, threatening remaining populations across the continent. We will continue to work aggressively with the Department of Justice and law enforcement agencies around the world to investigate, arrest and prosecute criminals who traffic in ivory.”

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