02 Apr 2014 12:58

Media Invitation. Ivory Crush : Belgium destroys one and a half tonnes of seized ivory. Wednesday April 9th at 11am, Palais de Colonies, Avenue des Palais, 3080 Tervuren

36 500 elephants are killed every year for their ivory ; that is 100 per day, 4 per hour or 1 every fifteen minutes. The Belgian government is taking a firm stand to show their opposition to the illegal trade in ivory. On April 9th, 1553 kg of ivory seized by customs will be transported to the Palais des Colonies in Tervuren to be destroyed.  Ivory traffickers be warned : the ivory they attempt to smuggle into black markets will end up seized and destroyed.

The media is invited to participate in the event organised by the CITES service of the SPF Santé publique, Sécurité de la Chaîne alimentaire et Environnement  (Federal Public Service department of Public Health, Food Chain Protection and Environment), the customs service of SPF Finances and IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare).

At 11am the respective ministers, departmental representatives and the CEO of IFAW will discuss the current state of the war against the illegal trade in ivory. At 11 :30am the destruction of the ivory will begin with a crushing machine. Images, video and interviews will be possible from this point (an additional photo opportunity is available at 10 :15 to photograph ivory before it is destroyed). 

Ambassadors from several European and African countries will be present at the event. The date of the ivory crush was not selected at random. On April 10 and 11, the European Union will discuss new measures to combat the illegal trade in wildlife and vegetation.

On April 8th you can film or photograph the stockpiled ivory which is being kept in secure premises in Zaventem (Brucargo). If interested, please contact Francis Adyns.

Media Contacts:
SPF Finances :
Francis Adyns. Tel : 02/576 22 44, GSM : 0470/76 22 44. Mail : francis.adyns@minfin.fed.be
SPF Santé publique, Sécurité de la Chaîne alimentaire et Environnement :
Jan Eyckmans (NL). Tel : 02/524  90 45, GSM : 0495/25 47 24. Mail: jan.eyckmans@gezondheid.belgië.be
Joëlle Smeets (FR). Tel: 02/ 524 95 05, GSM: 0474/49 84 41. Mail: joelle.smeets@environnement.belgique.be
International fund for Animal Welfare:
Adrian Hiel. Tel: 0473/86 34 61. Mail:  ahiel@ifaw.org