Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) - South African animal rights activists are on a war footing over the reopening of the ivory trade with China. According to the activists, the government's move will be "disastrous" for the elephants - whose tusks provide the prized material - while the initial estimates speak of eight thousand animals that would be sacrificed to meet Chinese demand.
On Tuesday, July 15, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) included China, one of the world's leading ivory consumers, among the nations that can trade with South Africa: the country of the dragon was given permission to import 51 tonnes.
Animal rights groups are protesting vigorously. A statement released by the group Animal Rights Africa emphasises how "this sale has literally given the green light to the international poaching syndicates and organised crime and will present a nightmare to poorly resourced wildlife enforcement agencies in Africa". According to the first estimates, in order to meet demand from the new Chinese market, "an estimated 7,699 South African elephants" will be killed, a slaughter attributed to the South African government, guilty of promoting "the immoral ivory trade". In addition to South Africa, the other African countries that will profit from China's entry into the market are Botswana, Namibia, and Zimbabwe.
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