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Protesters call for China ivory ban

Protesters will gather today outside the Chinese embassy to call for a ban on the country's booming trade in ivory from elephant tusks.

Chinese demand for ivory is claimed to be driving the slaughter of an estimated 40,000 African elephants every year.

With the animals in danger of extinction, wildlife charities Action for Elephants and Care for the Wild will ask for China to ban the ivory trade, destroy all its ivory stocks and close ivory carving factories.

Ornaments made from ivory are a traditional symbol of wealth and status in China and demand has been buoyed by the country's economic boom.

Maria Mossman, from Action for Elephants, said: "It's no secret that China holds the key to saving the planet's elephants, or making them extinct in the very near future.

"Although it was very encouraging to see China destroy six tonnes of seized ivory in the early part of this year, it's time now for China to take a much bigger leap forward and send a clear statement to the world - by banning the sale of ivory once and for all."

The protest will take place from 11am at the Chinese embassy building in central London.

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