MYAT MOE AUNG – Myanmar Times
The government will burn elephant tusks and other wildlife parts worth US$1.1 million (K1.66 billion) that were seized over the past year, a senior Forest Department official said.
U Win Naing Thaw, director of Nature and Wildlife Conservation at the department, said the parts will be burned at Yangon Zoo on Sunday.
“Besides elephant parts, there are other animal parts such as horns,” he said, adding that together they weigh more than 700 kilogrammes.
There is especially high demand in Myanmar’s illegal wildlife trade for elephants, turtles, snakes, pangolins and bears.
The burning of the parts is aimed at raising public awareness of the damage wrought by the illegal wildlife trade on the environment and animals.
“I regret the burning of the wildlife parts, but I feel sorrier for the live animals that are traded illegally,” U Win Naing Thaw said. “It is illegal to sell these parts on the black market, so they are being burned.”
Several countries have resorted to burning illegal wildlife parts in the campaign to eliminate the trade.
“The action aims to prevent the making of wildlife cuisine and other things,” said Yangon Region’s Forest Department Director U Thein Toe.
Myanmar began burning wildlife parts in Nay Pyi Taw in October 2018, when 277 ivory pieces, 227 elephant bones and other animals, 45 animal hides, 1544 animal horns, 45.5kg of pangolin scales, and 128 other parts were destroyed.