Vietnam destroys mass rhino horns and elephant ivory

Vietnam destroyed nearly 2.2 tons of seized elephant ivory and 70 kg of rhino horns on Saturday, in one of its strongest moves yet to stop illegal wildlife trafficking.

Vietnam destroyed nearly 2.2 tons of seized elephant ivory and 70 kg of rhino horns on Saturday, in one of its strongest moves yet to stop illegal wildlife trafficking.

Vietnam destroys mass rhino horns and elephant ivory

Seized elephant ivory and rhino horns are destroyed by Vietnamese authorities in Hanoi November 12, 2016. Picture taken November 12, 2016. (Photo: REUTERS)

The ivory and rhino horn trade is officially banned in Vietnam but its use in traditional medicine and for decoration remains widespread, especially among the country’s growing elite.

The country is also a popular transit point for African ivory and rhino horn destined for neighboring country, the main market for products fuelling the illicit and lucrative trade.

“The destruction today is a clear indication of our government’s political determination to fulfill our international duty in conventions to protect wildlife,” said Ha Cong Tuan, Vietnam’s deputy agriculture minister.

“Vietnam is doing so much in terms of educating the public, trying to reduce demand, increasing the number of seizures – it’s a lot of positive news here, but there are some holes”, said Teresa Telecky, Director of Wildlife at Humane Society International.

The Saturday’ event which came ahead of a major international conference in Hanoi opening on Thursday, added Vietnam to a list of 20 other countries that also crushed or burned seized ivory and rhino horns./.

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