Kenya have set fire to stockpi

Kenya have set fire to stockpiles of ivory and rhino horn worth millions of dollars [pictures]

Kenya set fire to stockpiles of ivory and rhino horn over the weekend.

Kenya have set fire to stockpi

Over the weekend, Kenya’s president did something quite incredible. Thousands of elephant tusks and rhino horns were burned to send a message that trade needs to be stopped.

In the biggest incineration of its kind, 105 tonnes of ivory from about 8 000 animals was burned. The estimated market value was around $150 million.

President Uhuru Kenyatta dismissed those who argued Kenya, which staged its first such burning in 1989, should instead have sold the ivory and rhino horn.

“Kenya is making a statement that for us ivory is worthless unless it is on our elephants,” he told dignitaries before setting light to the first of almost a dozen pyres.

Kenya is currently campaigning for a worldwide ban on ivory sales and will lobby at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) when it meets in South Africa later this year as poaching poses an increasing risk to the species.

Conservationists say the original CITES ban, and Kenya’s 1989 burning, helped reduce demand and relieve a crisis for the elephant population but that one-off legal sales have revived the market.