I have no idea where to put this one.
Via NBC: http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/11/14/20807269-illegal-ivory-crush-in-denver-to-send-message-to-poachers-traffickers
A massive stockpile of elephant ivory stacked in a warehouse north of Denver is set to be crushed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Thursday as part of an escalating push to stamp out illegal wildlife trafficking around the world.
The destruction of more than six tons of seized tusks and carvings at the National Wildlife Property Repository is meant to draw attention to a global poaching crisis, driven by organized crime syndicates, that has decimated the population of African elephants. "By destroying our domestic stocks of ivory, we send a very clear signal that these illegally-traded products should not be perceived as items of value," Robert G. Dreher, acting assistant attorney general for the environment and natural resources, told reporters last week in a press briefing.
Upwards of 30,000 elephants were slaughtered by poachers in 2012 — the largest number in decades. Despite a 1989 global ban on commercial ivory trading, the last five years have seen a dramatic surge in poaching that threatens to wipe out the roughly 500,000 elephants still living in Africa, experts say.
"Within 10 years, at the current rate of poaching, central African elephants will likely be extinct," said Crawford Allan, the WWF illegal wildlife trade expert and a senior director at TRAFFIC, a wildlife traffic monitoring network. "We will see a very bleak future for elephants unless we can turn this tide right now."
Outgunned by poachers with night vision goggles, automatic weapons
And yet the fight against poaching and trafficking isn't just an issue for animal rights activists and environmentalists, experts say. A growing catalog of evidence suggests that terror groups like al-Shabaab — the Somalia-based al Qaeda affiliate behind the horrific attack on a Kenya shopping complex in September — are partly funded by dirty money from the ivory black market.
Kate Brooks / for NBC News
Kenya Wildlife Service rangers patrol through Ramuruti forest in Laikipia, Kenya. The area is a corridor for elephants.
A 2011 report by the Elephant Action League christened ivory the "white gold for African jihad, white for its color and gold for its value."
"The deadly path of conflict ivory starts with the slaughter of innocent animals and ends in the slaughter of innocent people," wrote the report's authors, Nir Kalron and Andrea Crosta.
And former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said that U.S. intelligence agencies have discovered links between other militant groups, such as the Janjaweed in Sudan and Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda, and illicit ivory trading revenues.
The threat posed by underground poaching and trafficking — the world's fifth most thriving and lucrative illicit activity, following only the drug trade, human trafficking, oil theft and counterfeiting — has prompted the U.S. to sound the alarms.
Much more at link - it's a long article.
How, exactly, is it going to send a message to poachers? Why should they care - if they even hear about it they have still already been paid. The traffickers? Part of the cost of doing business - sometimes you are going to lose a shipment. It's already written into their overheads.
Since the poachers are heavily armed and well organized, why not use them for a live exercise? Obama is fussed enough about poaching to direct US agencies to act - well - he has all these drones he seems to love using.