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The United States has done it. The Philippines and China too. Even Hong Kong has said it will destroy some of its contraband ivory. But ahead of a conservation conference in London next month where world leaders will descend to seek a solution to wildlife crime, the debate about the future of stockpiles is set to heat up.

Figures such as this 7th or 8th century tomb guardian show a new side to China

More than just vases: British Museum showcases the worldly masculinity of the Ming dynasty

An exhibition at the British Museum will show that Cold War-era ideas on China’s past gave a short-sighted view of the country

Full Metal Jacket actor R. Lee Ermey poses in Facebook pictures with lions he shot

A Hollywood actor has been branded a “disgusting killer” after being pictured proudly with two dead lions.

Princess Cristina will appear in court on 8 March

Princess Cristina of Spain summoned to court over tax fraud claims

Further blow to monarchy as the daughter of King Juan Carlos gets court summons over alleged money laundering by husband

Three dead minke whales lie on the deck of the Japanese whaling vessel Nisshin Maru as it travels through the Southern Ocean

Photos show Japanese boats 'whaling in internationally protected area'

Anti-whaling activists Sea Shepherd say they shot the footage showing dead whales in pools of blood

The conversation: Environmental activist Laurens de Groot on running from seal clubbers and why you don't mess with Russia

Sea Shepherd would aim to scupper missions by any means, whether it was throwing foul-smelling acid or sinking ships. At what point did you join?

Xavi and Iker Casillas formed a bond playing together at the Under-20 World Cup in Nigeria

Pete Jenson: What England could learn from Spain (and it's not the benefits of a midwinter break)

A Different League: Placing greater importance on the forming of young England teams is just as important as giving senior players a rest

File photo of a deer in Altrincham. A man has been arrested in Devon over the 'barbaric shooting' of a deer with a crossbow

Man arrested over ‘barbaric shooting’ of deer with crossbow

Police appealed for information from anyone who may have spotted the animal with a bolt in its head

Ice queen: Skelton went to Antarctica for Sport Relief

My life in travel: Helen Skelton

'After two months in Antarctica, a hairdryer felt like a luxury'

A baby northern gannet stands next to one of its parents

Gannet chick-eating championships provoke anger from wildlife lovers

The first “world championship” for eating pickled baby gannets, known as “guga”, has sparked new calls for a total ban on the Hebridean tradition of hunting chicks by clubbing  them with sticks.

A new poll reveals that eight out of ten Britons are against the fox hunting ban being lifted

Eight out of ten want to keep fox hunting ban

Anti-hunt campaigners are challenging the Prime Minister David Cameron to carry out his pledge for a free vote over the hunting ban, with new polling revealing eight out of ten Britons are against the ban being lifted.

Elephant Appeal: Why conservation is about forging a friendship

Farmers have had crops repeatedly destroyed by marauding elephants

Four depictions of elephants as they appear in religion and myth

Elephants are culturally important across the globe

5,000 years of scrounging: Scientists discover world’s earliest evidence of cats living off humans

New study reveals proof for first time of how cats became ‘domesticated’

Indyplus Christmas campaign: Five unbelievable habits of elephants

From avenging their dead to mimicking human speech, elephants get up to all sorts of things you'd never expect

US TV presenter Melissa Bachman poses with a dead male lion in South Africa

Elephant Appeal: The night of the hunter

Is there a place for hunting in conservation, with the money it earns put back in to stop poaching?

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