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Republic of Congo take first steps to tackle poaching

By Emily Beament

Wildlife campaigners have welcomed moves by the Republic of Congo to destroy its entire ivory stockpile.

The destruction of up to five tonnes of ivory, the first time the country has ever destroyed any, sends "a positive signal" about the government's determination to tackle poaching and the illegal ivory trade, the World Wildlife Fund said.

The conservation charity said the move, which follows similar measures by other African countries, needed to be backed up with extra efforts to tackle the problem which threatens to push elephants towards extinction.

Lamine Sebogo, WWF African elephant programme leader, said: "The Republic of Congo's decision to destroy its ivory stockpile sends a positive signal about the government's determination to tackle the elephant poaching crisis and the illegal ivory trade.

"But it needs to be backed up with anti-poaching efforts, a stronger judicial process to end impunity for wildlife criminals, and enhanced local stewardship of natural resources."

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