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Japanese, Chinese bidders take part in 1st auction of ivory in decade held in Namibia

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What is it with Asian countries and the exploitation of animals? You just can't help yourselves can you. If you're not illegally poaching whales you're killing something else. This is the twenty first century, do you not know that we no longer need to kill other sentient being to survive and live well? Wake up and evolve!

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The Japanese and Chinese buyers did not have the courage to be named.

"Over 44 tons will be sold in Botswana on Friday, while auctions next month will see 51 tons being offered in South Africa and almost 4 tons offered in Zimbabwe." Yet we're supposed to take their word for it, that all these animals died from natural causes. Not all your readers are that gullible. These animals will be extinct before we know it and then those who exploit them will be forced to think of more intelligent ways to make a living.

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Japan has barely changed in 1,000 years. What makes you think they have changed in the last 30? It's good luck to have an ivory hanko. Only poor people don't have one. Eating whale meat is good for you. If Americans carry dogs in their handbags so do Japanese. Perhaps Japanese may start to immitate conservationists in the future instead of rappers and soul singers and actually do some good for this planet that unfortunately we all share.

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In an ideal world, just as you can use antler from deer as a carving material, so you should be able to use ivory without causing the death of any animal.

CITES prevents the movement of ivory across international borders but allows sudden massive shipments, and then again blocks the movement of the resultant small carved objects... if they are "ivory of illegal origin". Thus, in Africa, in China, in Japan, local artisans are allowed to work and produce, but MUST sell only nationally and not to tourists or abroad, right? Or is it OK if they are of legal origin? Or is CITES avoiding the issue?

Hmmm... so it's like we have blood diamonds, and now blood ivory? Conversely we are aiming for certified legal diamonds and certified legal ivory, correct?

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Mystie,

Africans exploit elephants too, and people of all race exploit some species of animals. I don't see why you single out Asians.

You offer know proof that "These animals will be extinct before we know it". On the contrary the evidence suggests strongly that elephant populations in the nations which are permitted to sell ivory are well managed and in no danger of localised extinction.

Furthermore sales of the ivory has just generated "more than $1 million for elephant conservation".

People who are for elephant conservation (as opposed to elephant or animal rights) will be pleased to see something good like this happening for a change.

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You offer know proof = You offer no proof

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Mystie. Get off your high horse. You speak assuming that Africans supplying the IVORY are black, don't you? The fact is that our parks are managed by white conservations - always have been. The very same people you love to parade on Discovery Channel, National Geographic Specials, PBS etc as throw backs to the good all days. Remember Mr Leaky in Kenya? He wonderfully called us animal butcherers for culling elephant. Ten years later he's saying that southern Africa's methods are the solution to saving the species. No not all the ivory comes from natural death - in fact that type of ivory is almost impossible to find unless the elephant fell into a ditch and died. Most of our ivory comes from rogue animals shot raiding farms or kraals. The rest is from culled herds. One third of Zimbabwe is national park and game reserve, the other two thirds is owned by Britain. The ten million blacks have to squeeze themselves between these divided sections of the land... does Mystie actually expect Africans to have sympathy for an elephant? Ha haaaaa...

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