Ivory seized at Suffolk port
RARE Ivory and endangered coral have been seized by Felixstowe customs officers, it emerged today.Four huge tusks, as well as other carved ivory ornaments, were discovered in a cargo of personal effects which arrived at the port from Houston, Texas.
RARE Ivory and endangered coral have been seized by Felixstowe customs officers, it emerged today.
Four huge tusks, as well as other carved ivory ornaments, were discovered in a cargo of personal effects which arrived at the port from Houston, Texas.
In the same seizure officers also found highly endangered coral and a queen conch shell.
It is believed the haul was due to eventually be transported to France.
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Customs wildlife specialist Lance Cruse, based at Felixstowe, said: "Ivory
can be imported into the country if you have the necessary permits, both from the exporting country and the destination country.
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"Those permits can be granted for particular purposes. However, the queen conch and coral have a total ban on their importation.
"People who exploit endangered animals and plants by obtaining them for their rarity value or seeking to make a profit from their sale are in grave danger of destroying the planet's inheritance "
The items were seized under the legislation restricting international trade in these items. HM Customs estimate their value is in the region of £8,000.
Customs restricted their action in this case to the seizure of the items.
The Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), is designed so countries can seek to protect either their own wildlife, or the wildlife of other countries whose boundaries contain certain rare or endangered species, from
Around 150 countries are signed up to CITES.
Felixstowe has had many seizures of goods under CITES legislation in the past.
Particularly common is the confiscation of oriental medicines, which can be manufactured with constituents from endangered animals or plants.