Interpol: Big crackdown on ivory traders

Interpol is carrying out the largest anti-elephant ivory poaching operation ever mounted following mass killings in Africa. Wildlife agents in 14 different African countries have been raiding outlets and hunting down traders to crack down on the multi-million pound industry.

Operation Worthy, as it is being called, is aimed at stifling the increasing demand in illegal elephant ivory, mostly from Asian countries such as China.

The operation, which has been co-ordinated by Interpol’s Environmental Crime Programme and funded by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), has already had some success.

Several dozen people have been arrested and the agents have recovered what they describe as “significant” amounts of illegal wildlife products – including more than 250kg of raw ivory but also lion and leopard pelts, python and crocodile skins and live birds.

The operation follows a terrible year for elephants in 2011.

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