Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Third Hong Kong Retailer Drops Ivory

A third Hong Kong retailer, Yue Hwa Chinese Products Emporium Ltd, has announced it will no longer sell ivory products on its shelves, following fellow retailers Chinese Arts & Crafts (H.K.) Ltd (CAC) and Wing On Department Store. Prior to these announcements Wing On, and Yue Hwa were Hong Kong’s largest retailers of elephant ivory. 

“Hong Kong’s three largest ivory retailers are leading by example and demonstrating the importance of stopping the trade in these products,” said WildAid Executive Director Peter Knights. “We applaud Yue Hwa for taking this important step toward protecting elephants by reducing the bloody trade and thereby lessening poaching pressures in Africa.”

Yue Hwa’s decision follows public pleas to end the ivory trade in Hong Kong and comes one week before the government is scheduled to begin burning 29.6 tonnes of confiscated ivory on May 15. Hong Kong’s ivory stockpile was originally 37.8 tonnes of which 6.5 tonnes has already been reportedly incinerated and crushed to test destruction methods and 1.7 tonnes was donated for CITES permitted uses.

“This is solid proof that government held ivory destruction events can effect positive change,” said Hong Kong-based WildAid consultant Alex Hofford. “It's no coincidence that all three of Hong Kong's largest ivory retailers decided to remove ivory from their shelves in the final hours leading up to the Hong Kong ivory burn. We encourage the government to continue their great work by banning ivory sales permanently."

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