Singapore destroys 8,000 kg of ivory worth $13 mln in anti-poaching drive

The ivory was seized from illegal shipments dating back to January 2014.

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) of Singapore crushed 7.9 tonnes of elephant ivory, worth about S$13 million in an anti-poaching drive.

The ivory was seized from illegal shipments dating back to January 2014. Before crushing, the ivory was incinerated at an eco-waste plant, with the ashes used as landfill at Pulau Semakau. This process was done by an industrial rock crusher.

In last December, Singapore authorities seized 851 elephant tusks weighing about 2.25 tonnes bound for Laos from Nigeria and Congo at the Changi Airfreight Centre.

Back in May 2015, Singaporean authorities intercepted 1,783 elephant tusks weighing about 4.6 tonnes and worth about $8 million en route to Vietnam from Kenya. It was the largest and most valuable illegal shipment of ivory that was seized in Singapore.

The recent event at Tuas on Monday was attended by the Senior Minister of State for National Development and Home Affairs, Desmond Lee, along with several foreign diplomats from the British High Commission and US Embassy to Singapore.

In an interview with the Channel News Asia, Desmond Lee said: "The public destruction of ivory sends a strong message that Singapore condemns illegal wildlife trade. By crushing the ivory, we ensure that it does not re-enter the ivory market. Tackling this illicit trade requires close international cooperation, and also the assistance of the public and non-governmental organizations."

"We will continue our enforcement efforts, to prevent Singapore from being used as a transit point," he added.