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China destroys 6 tons of illegal ivory

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China destroyed 6 tons of illegal ivory from its stock on Monday, according to the Huff Post Green on January 6.

Officials organized what they said was the country's first large-scale ivory destruction in Dongguan in southern Guangdong province, where much of China's ivory trade is concentrated.

Ivory can draw up to $2,000 a kilogram on the black market, earning it the nickname "white gold."

Officials said the 6.1 metric tons of ivory destroyed was just a portion of the illegal ivory held by China. The destroyed ivory came from shipments from Africa seized by customs officers as well as from carving factories and shops in China.

China is following other countries that have destroyed their ivory stocks in the past year.

In June, the Philippines burned and crushed more than 5 tons of ivory worth an estimated $10 million confiscated since 2009. In November, the United States destroyed 6 tons of ivory seized over 25 years. Gabon burned nearly 5 tons in 2012.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) said the destruction was a powerful symbolic act that shows that the Chinese government is concerned about the toll ivory trafficking is taking on elephant populations, as well as the other threats to regional security that arise in connection with wildlife crime.

IFAW estimates that more than 35,000 elephants were killed last year by poachers for ivory.

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