IFAW IVORY TRADE CAMPAIGN
10 June 2008
Lynne Jones pledges to protect endangered elephants from the deadly ivory trade
Lynne Jones MP for Selly Oak is taking a stand to protect thousands
of endangered elephants from the brutal ivory trade. In July, a decision may be made
to allow China to buy ivory from government stockpiles in southern Africa a move
that could spell disaster for elephants.
Dr Jones is supporting the International Fund for Animal
Welfares ivory trade campaign calling on the government to bring together EU
partners to oppose China as an ivory buyer.
Ivory trade has been banned since
1989, however, every year approximately 20,000 elephants are killed to supply the illegal
ivory trade and this is on the increase. China is the single major destination for
this illegal ivory, and has the world's largest black market for ivory.
IFAW is campaigning around the
world to ensure that China is not allowed to import stockpiled ivory a move which
could see ivory from illegally killed African elephants being laundered within legal
stocks, due to inadequate enforcement controls.
There is strong evidence that
soaring Chinese demand for ivory is responsible for the deaths of large numbers of
elephants. In Africa, Chinese citizens have been convicted of illegally trading ivory in
22 of the 37 elephant range states. Only last month, two Chinese nationals were charged
with the possession and attempted smuggling of ivory out of Kenya. Whilst in March,
approximately one ton of ivory was seized in Guangxi, China - representing the death of at
least 80 elephants.
Lynne Jones said: "I am proud to support IFAWs campaign to
protect elephants from being slaughtered for their tusks. These majestic creatures are
being killed by poachers in the tens of thousands each year for the cruel and
unsustainable trade in ivory. I believe elephants belong in the wild and should be
protected in their natural habitat for future generations. We must stamp out the ivory
trade before it is too late."
Robbie Marsland, Director of IFAW UK said: "If China is approved
as an ivory buyer it will open the floodgates to allow large quantities of illegal ivory
to be traded. The rise in legal trade will act as a smokescreen for illegal ivory to
be laundered on the black market. Opposing this decision is crucial in the fight to
protect the world's remaining elephants."
For further information on IFAW's work www.ifaw.org
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