Ban the Sale of Elephant Ivory in Canada
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Photo Credit: Larry Laverty
Will we be the generation that lets elephants become extinct?
A shocking 96 elephants are killed every day for their ivory. That is 36,000 elephants a year. At this rate, all African and Asian elephants could be extinct in the wild in only 8 years.
Ivory is so valuable on the black market that organized terrorism syndicates such as the Lord’s Resistance Army are now committing mass slaughter using helicopters, night-vision goggles and AK-47 rifles. In 1980 Africa had more than 1.3 million elephants - today it has approximately 415,000. In less than 40 years, 70% of elephants have disappeared.
In 1989, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) made it illegal to sell elephant ivory internationally. But each country makes its own laws regarding the sale of ivory within their borders. When domestic trade is allowed it permits illegal ivory (poached after 1989) to be sold along with legal ivory. This is because it's difficult to differentiate between old and new ivory without extensive and costly testing.
We feel the implementation of new regulations and laws to further curb the illegal trade in Canada is necessary, as outlined in Solicitor General, Mike Farnworth’s private member’s bill, M234 – Banning the Sale of Ivory and Rhinoceros Horns Act, 2016. We believe that legislation can be crafted to protect both elephants and the indigenous trade of narwhal and walrus. The only way to protect elephants from extinction is to ban ALL elephant ivory trade.
At the IUCN World Conservation Congress in August 2016, Canada was 1 of only 4 countries to oppose the closure of domestic ivory markets across the globe.
The US banned practically all domestic ivory trade in June 2016. China shut down its domestic ivory trade at the start of 2018. If China and the US - the two largest consumers of ivory in the world, can stop their domestic trade, why can’t Canada?
We ask the government of Canada to make the import and domestic trade of all elephant ivory illegal. Let’s make Canada emerge as one of the many countries who are changing their policies to allow the survival of the world's elephants.
Sincerely, Fran Duthie President, Elephanatics www.elephanatics.org
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