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A message from the petition organisers, Lucy Lan Skrine (柯嵐), aged 11, and Christina Seigrist (孫藍慧), aged 8, who both live and go to school in Hong Kong.
“Tens of thousands of elephants are slaughtered every year for their ivory and Hong Kong can do something important to help stop this evil trade. We were horrified to discover that there have been six seizures of smuggled ivory this year alone, and that the Hong Kong government has a stockpile of 12 tonnes of ivory collected in the past three years alone. The total stockpile could be as big as 33 tonnes.
Can you imagine how many elephants died for that huge pile of tusks cluttering up our customs warehouses? Destroying confiscated ivory means it can never be traded again and sends a powerful message to poachers. The Philippines crushed and burnt five tonnes of tusks in June. The US plans to crush seven tonnes in October. The Hong Kong government should do the same with its stockpile.
We must do something. It’s our responsibility. Elephants are being driven to the brink of extinction by the ivory trade. If we don’t act, they could be extinct within our lifetimes!
But first we want you to sign our petition asking the Hong Kong government to crush and burn the stockpile of ivory. We want Hong Kong to send a message to the world that ivory isn’t welcome here and we won’t allow our city to be any part of this cruel trade. Think about the elephants that died to create that 25 tonne pile of tusks. We must do all we can to make sure they didn’t die for nothing…”
If you would like to know more about Lucy and Christina’s campaign, please visit ‘Hong Kong for Elephants’ on Facebook or Twitter.
And now for some hashtags!
As members of the Hong Kong public, we call upon the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government to destroy its entire stockpile of confiscated ivory, as a symbolic gesture to highlight the plight of elephants that are being killed by the tens of thousands to supply the ivory trade.
As a gateway to mainland China which has the largest illegal ivory market in the world, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is being used by criminal syndicates as a transit point to smuggle elephant ivory and other wildlife contraband.
According to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government the stockpile of forfeited elephant ivory has accumulated 12 tonnes from 2010 to 2013. The historic total going back many years could be up to 26 tonnes. That is equivalent to between 1,300 and 2,858 elephants killed for their tusks.
Much like drugs or seized counterfeit goods, confiscated ivory and other wildlife contraband should not have any commercial value and cannot be put back into the market. Destruction of seized ivory is in accordance to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), to which China is a signatory member. To demonstrate the political will to combat elephant poaching, and the trafficking of ivory to demand regions, many countries such as Kenya, Gabon, and Philippines have publicly destroyed their confiscated ivory stockpiles. The United States of America also plans to destroy six tons of ivory it seized from illegal trade.
Destruction of confiscated elephant ivory in Hong Kong, post investigation and not withstanding donating a few pieces of ivory tusks for education purposes, will send a strong signal to Chinese consumers everywhere that buying ivory is immoral and wrong.
It would also send an unequivocal message to the poachers in Africa that their actions will not be tolerated by governments in East Asia, and the people they represent. We, therefore, call on the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government to do the responsible and ethical thing, transparently and publicly destroy its entire stockpile of confiscated ivory through crushing or incineration in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.