Malawi sets 2.6 tonnes of elephant tusks ablaze

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Malawi on Monday burnt nearly 3 tonnes of ivory, which had been smuggled from Tanzania.

This move followed a dispute between the two countries over whether the elephant tusks should have been saved as legal evidence against poachers.

Tanzanian authorities delayed the burning that had been scheduled last September, by 3 months, arguing that the elephant tusks should be saved as legal evidence against poachers.

A court in Malawi however ordered wildlife authorities to publicly destroy the 781 pieces of ivory valued at nearly 3 million U.S. dollars.

Wildlife experts say poaching has halved Malawi’s elephant population from 4,000 in the 1980’s to 2,000 currently.

The country is considered a weak link in the fight against illegal ivory trade due to graft, weak wildlife legislation and poor law enforcement.

The burning was described as a milestone for Malawi.

The country says it has another four tonnes of stockpiled ivory that it plans to destroy.

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