New York is taking a stand against the illegal ivory trade by destroying nearly two tons of ivory Thursday in Central Park.
In the U.S., people are allowed to buy and sell African elephant ivory. But in August 2014, New York prohibited the sale, purchase, trade or distribution of anything made from elephant or mammoth ivory.
Some environmental advocates think the selling and distribution of ivory is morally wrong.
“I can’t imagine who would want this on their mantelpiece,” New York’s Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said last week at an event in Albany that showcased $8.5 million worth of ivory artifacts confiscated by New York investigators in the last three years. “This so-called artwork that to me is a repugnant representation of a sick trade will be pulverized into nothing as a powerful symbol of the state’s commitment to enforcing this ban."
An estimated 100 African elephants are killed each day by poachers seeking ivory, according to Worldelephantday.com.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation tweeted Wednesday that "By crushing confiscated ivory today, we are making it clear that the illegal ivory trade must be stopped."
New York has been one of the top markets for elephant ivory in the U.S., WABC News reported. John Calvelli, a spokesman for the Wildlife Conservation Society, hopes that this event will create more awareness.
“Crushing the ivory shows that the ivory has no value, so people can stop killing the elephants,” he said.