Uganda Seizes Two Tonnes of Ivory

Uganda Seizes Two Tonnes of Ivory
Friday, October 18, 2013
Cape Town, South Africa

Uganda has seized two tonnes (4,600lb) of elephant ivory, bringing to six tonnes the amount of ivory confiscated and linked to the east African country in just over a week.

Reports today say the ivory was intercepted by Uganda officials en route to Mombasa in Kenya, a main departure port for illegal ivory bound for Asia.

The bust occurs after Kenya authorities last week said they had intercepted two consignments of two tonnes of ivory each in the previous seven days at Mombasa Port. Both were packed into containers sent from Uganda.

“This year is proving to be a bloody one for elephants. If we are to save elephants we need to address every link in the ivory chain. That means stopping the killing, stopping the trafficking and stopping the demand,” said James Isiche, IFAW Regional Director East Africa (International Fund for Animal Welfare – www.ifaw.org).

“In 2011, it was thought that between 25,000 and 50,000 elephants lost their lives to poachers, and all for their ivory which is used to make trinkets that no one needs. Wildlife crime ranks among the most serious, dangerous and damaging of international crimes along with human trafficking, drug running and illegal arms sales.”

Most illegal ivory is destined for Asia, in particular China, where it has soared in value as an investment vehicle and is coveted as “white gold”. Limited availability of legal ivory in China purchased form the stockpile sale in southern Africa in 2008 has, in turn, boosted demand encouraging illegal ivory trade and the poaching of elephant to meet market needs.

As part of a worldwide capacity building initiative IFAW trains law enforcement officers in wildlife trafficking prevention in several countries throughout Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Oceania, and the Caribbean. The organization recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Interpol, the first ever signed by Interpol’s Environmental Crime Programme with an NGO. IFAW and Interpol have collaborated on numerous projects since 2005 including Interpol’s largest-ever illegal ivory trade operation in 2012.

Ends

A new IFAW report, Criminal Nature: The Global Security Implications of the Illegal Wildlife Trade,, documents the threat the illegal trade poses to animals like elephants and rhinos, and also people.

The learn more about the illegal ivory trade, download IFAW’s digital magazine Unveiling the Ivory Trade.

About IFAW (the International Fund for Animal Welfare)
Founded in 1969, IFAW saves animals in crisis around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information visit, www.ifaw.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Experts

Céline Sissler-Bienvenu, Director, France and Francophone Africa
Director, France and Francophone Africa
Dr. Cynthia Moss, IFAW Elephant Expert
IFAW Elephant Expert
Grace Ge Gabriel, Regional Director, Asia
Regional Director, Asia
James Isiche, Regional Director, East Africa
Regional Director, East Africa
Jason Bell, Program Director, Elephants Regional Director, South Africa
Program Director, Elephants, Regional Director, South Africa
Peter Pueschel, Director, International Environmental Agreements
Director, International Environmental Agreements
Vivek Menon, Director of IFAW partner, Wildlife Trust of India
Regional Director, South Asia