Singapore uproar over store selling ivory jewellery

A Singapore online store selling ivory jewellery has sparked uproar, with an animal rights group Tuesday slamming the shop for offering products made from "tortured" elephants.

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Ivory Lane offers earrings for Sg$160 ($120) and necklaces for Sg$800 ($585), and insists its products are made from ivory that was obtained before 1990, when an international ban on the trade began.

It is still legal in Singapore to export and import products made from ivory sourced before the ban took effect.

The shop's Facebook page shows a picture of women wearing the items, with the message: "Ivory is a secret desire for most girls."

But consumers in the affluent city-state reacted with outrage, flooding the store's page with hundreds of angry comments and demanding its closure. The demand for ivory, particularly in Asia, has contributed significantly to the decline in elephant populations worldwide.

"This is an outrageous business! You are creating demand for a product made from a terrible human practice!" Facebook user Laura Goddard wrote on Ivory Lane's page on the social networking site.

Jason Baker, a spokesman for campaign group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), questioned who would want to collect "fragments of a tortured, dead elephant".

"Vintage ivory sends the same, unacceptable message as new ivory -- that it is ok to maim and kill animals for the sake of vanity," he told AFP.

In a statement issued Monday, Ivory Lane's owner Ivy Chng noted the "unhappiness" online but insisted that the ivory she was selling was "completely legal" in Singapore.

"We only offer the purest form of ivory, sourced from the natural environments of central Africa," she said.

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