U.S. to destroy one ton of ivory in Times Square this week

U.S. to destroy one ton of ivory in Times Square this week
Monday, 15 June, 2015
Yarmouth Port, MA

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) will destroy more than one ton of contraband ivory in New York City on Friday, June 19 alongside conservation leaders including International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW). The event, which is intended to raise awareness about the global elephant poaching and wildlife trafficking crisis, will begin at 10:30 am ET on Broadway between 46 and 47.

“The U.S. is among the world’s largest consumers of ivory and it’s important that we lead the way to protect elephants,” said Azzedine Downes, IFAW’s President and CEO. “By standing with USFWS in publicly destroying this ivory, we are all demonstrating our commitment to work together to end this global crisis. Ivory trade anywhere is a threat to elephants everywhere.”

Nearly 80 percent of Americans support prohibiting ivory sales. Despite existing rules and regulations, elephant products like carvings, tusks, jewelry and trophies continue to be seized from illegal trade at many ports throughout the U.S. In fact, there has been a 20 percent increase in the number of seized elephant products imported and exported since 2009.

IFAW will have experts available on the ground including Azzedine Downes, President and CEO; Grace Gabriel, Asia Regional Director; Jeffrey Flocken, North American Regional Director and Beth Allgood, U.S. Campaigns Manager.

This latest ivory destruction comes on the heels of China’s recent ivory crush in Beijing where government officials announced that they will phase out ivory trade, signifying their commitment to protect elephants. In the past two years, several countries and territories around the world have destroyed ivory stockpiles including Belgium, Chad, China mainland and special administrative region Hong Kong, Ethiopia, Gabon, France, Kenya, Philippines, UAE, UK and U.S.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wildlife Conservation Society, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, New York State Senator Brad Hoylman and Powerscreen are organizing the event. Other partners include: African Wildlife Foundation, The Humane Society of the United States, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Natural Resources Defense Council and World Wildlife Fund.

About IFAW

Founded in 1969, IFAW rescues and protects animals 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. Photos are available at www.ifawimages.com

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Azzedine Downes,IFAW President and CEO
President and Chief Executive Officer
Céline Sissler-Bienvenu, Director, France and Francophone Africa
Director, France and Francophone Africa
Dr. Elsayed Ahmed Mohamed, Regional Director, Middle East and North Africa
Regional Director, Middle East and North Africa
Dr. Maria (Masha) N. Vorontsova, Senior Advisor to the IFAW Marine Conservation
Senior Advisor to the IFAW Marine Conservation Program
Faye Cuevas, Esq.
Senior Vice President
Grace Ge Gabriel, Regional Director, Asia
Regional Director, Asia
Executive Vice President
Executive Vice President
Matt Collis, Director, International Policy
Director, International Policy
Pauline Verheij, Program Manager, Wildlife Crime
Program Manager, Wildlife Crime
Rikkert Reijnen, Program Director, Wildlife Crime
Program Director, Wildlife Crime
Country Representative, Germany
Country Representative, Germany
Staci McLennan, Director, EU Office
Director, EU Office
Tania McCrea-Steele, Project Lead, Global Wildlife Cybercrime
Project Lead, Global Wildlife Cybercrime
Vivek Menon, Director of IFAW partner, Wildlife Trust of India
Consulting Senior Advisor to the CEO on Strategic Partnerships & Philanthropy