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The United States has destroyed six tons of confiscated elephant ivory, in a move wildlife groups hailed as a bold message to criminal traffickers that the ivory is worthless.

The ivory stockpile was pulverized by an industrial rock crusher at a US Fish and Wildlife Service refuge near Denver, Colorado on Thursday.

The move was “a clear message that the nation will not tolerate wildlife crime that threatens to wipe out the African elephant and a host of other species around the globe,” the FWS said in a statement.

Witnesses to the event included representatives of African nations and top conservationists from around the globe.

“Rising demand for ivory is fueling a renewed and horrific slaughter of elephants in Africa, threatening remaining populations across the continent,” said Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell.

“We encourage other nations to join us in destroying confiscated ivory stockpiles and taking…

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