Dubai Sets Ablaze 12 Tons of Confiscated Ivory
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) _ Dubai set ablaze 12 tons of confiscated ivory Wednesday to demonstrate support for a U.N. ban on trading in elephant tusks, officials said.
Illegal ivory trading is said to be responsible for reducing Africa’s elephant population the past 10 years to 600,000 from 1.3 million.
The ivory was taken from local traders who imported it from South Africa and the Ivory Coast, said Qasim Sultan, acting director of the Dubai Municipality.
The import, export and sale of ivory was banned by Dubai in 1989. Wednesday’s blaze marked the first public burning of ivory in the southern Persian Gulf emirate.
Before the ban, Dubai was reportedly one of the top transit points for ivory - mainly to the Far East.