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Smuggled ivory destroyed by China

Chinese authorities have destroyed 1,460lb of ivory that was seized after being smuggled in the country as part of a crackdown on the illegal trade.

In front of reporters in a suburban area of Beijing, wildlife officials placed raw tusks and ornate carvings on to a conveyor belt which fed the ivory into a machine that crushed the pieces into tiny pebbles.

China bans smuggling of ivory, but in 2008 secured an exemption to a global ivory trade moratorium to import legal stockpiles for traditional carvings that can be sold domestically.

Conservationists argue that this legal trade has prompted a resurgent demand for ivory while providing a convenient cover for a thriving black market.

They have demanded China impose a complete ban on imports and domestic trade.

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