'William: Destroy royal ivory haul'

Thurrock Gazette: The Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge attend the Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference The Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge attend the Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference

The Duke of Cambridge wants all ivory in the Royal Collection at Buckingham Palace to be removed and destroyed, it is reported.

Days after the Duke gave his backing to a campaign against elephant poaching, leading primatologist Jane Goodall told the Independent on Sunday (IoS) that William had told her he would "like to see all the ivory owned by Buckingham Palace destroyed".

The Royal Collection contains some 1,200 artefacts containing ivory, dating back hundreds of years.

William's father, the Prince of Wales, has reportedly asked for all ivory items at his Clarence House and Highgrove homes to be removed from sight during the last few years.

Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith applauded the duke's stance on ivory, saying: "It's difficult to imagine a stronger symbol of the horrors of ivory than Buckingham Palace publicly destroying its own. Good for Prince William for pushing this."

Dr Paula Kahumbu told the IoS such a move would send a "powerful" message. She said: "It would be a demonstration of them putting their money where their mouth is. It would be extremely significant, and visual, and might help Britons hand in their ivory, illegal or legal."

A spokesman for the Duke refused to confirm or deny any private comments he is said to have made, the IoS reported.

Last week William leant his influence to a campaign against elephant poaching when he addressed a symposium of leading conservationists gathered by his United for Wildlife umbrella organisation.

In a videoed speech he and Charles also called on the world to turn its back on illegally traded animal parts like ivory and rhino horn.

On Thursday William, Charles, Prince Harry and Prime Minister David Cameron attended the world's largest conference on the illegal trade in wildlife, held in London.

Some 46 nations and 11 international organisations were at the Illegal Wildlife Trade conference, at which wo rld leaders agreed concrete steps to help safeguard endangered animals from poachers.

Illegal trade in animal parts such as rhino horn, tiger parts and elephant tusks is worth more than an estimated £11.5 billion each year.

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