Press releases > Ivory Crush
Sir Roger Gale backs ivory crush to support elephants ahead of London summit on illegal wildlife trade

(London – 10 February 2014) – North Thanet`s MP Sir Roger Gale  joined the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) on Monday as the charity crushed hundreds of items of unwanted ivory to help protect elephants from the deadly ivory trade.
 
IFAW destroyed around 100kgs of ivory items ranging from whole elephant tusks to carvings and jewellery in spectacular fashion in London to raise awareness of the ivory trade and show support for elephant protection ahead of a major international summit on the issue.
 
Alarmingly, an elephant is killed every 15 minutes for its ivory. It is estimated that at least 25,000 elephants and up to 50,000 are slaughtered each year for their tusks.

Members of the public had donated their unwanted ivory items for the crush event. As well as ensuring the donated ivory does not find its way onto the marketplace, IFAW staged the event to symbolise public support for elephants and call for increased measures to tackle the poaching crisis ahead of a high-level international summit on illegal wildlife trade taking place in the Capital on Thursday (13).



Hosted by UK Government, HRH Prince Charles and the Duke of Cambridge and with senior government officials from around 50 countries invited to attend, this is an unprecedented opportunity to influence world leaders to act to protect elephants, tigers, rhinos and other animals.
 
Robbie Marsland, UK Director of IFAW, said: “We thank Roger for supporting our ivory surrender which sends a clear message to governments attending the forthcoming summit that the UK public want to see an end to elephants being slaughtered for their ivory. We urge delegates attending the summit to do all they can to help end the poaching crisis and increase protection for elephants and other species by taking a strong stance against illegal wildlife trade.”
 
Sir Roger said: “I was very pleased to be able to support IFAW's ivory destruction to raise awareness of this deadly trade which sees elephants killed for trinkets which nobody needs. It is good that so much ivory has been donated by the UK public and put beyond use.
We took the opportunity to highlight the fight against the slaughter of wild animals during the debate in the Commons last week and ahead of the Lancaster House summit on Thursday and this IFAW initiative draws further attention to the cause”
Those who gave up their ivory were invited to attend the destruction event along with politicians and TV conservationist Bill Oddie. After the items had passed through a giant crusher, IFAW handed remaining shards to the UK Border Force to permanently destroy them.
 
With recent ivory destructions in the US, China and France and a similar event planned in Hong Kong, IFAW’s UK ivory crush added to this growing momentum.
Conservationist and presenter Chris Packham also backed the ivory surrender and crush. He said: “Sadly every piece of ivory represents a dead elephant so we need to stamp out the trade.”

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