Will we be the generation that lets elephants become extinct?
A shocking 20,000 elephants are killed every year for their ivory. Scientists and conservationists agree that at this rate, both African and Asian elephants will be extinct in the wild within our lifetime.
Even so, at the last IUCN World Conservation Congress, Canada was 1 of only 4 countries to oppose the closure of domestic ivory markets across the globe.
Ivory is so valuable on the black market that organized terrorism syndicates such as the Lord’s Resistance Army are committing mass slaughter using helicopters 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 our 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 because it’s difficult to differentiate between old and new ivory without extensive and costly testing. The only way to protect elephants from extinction is to ban ALL elephant ivory trade.
China is the largest consumer of ivory in the world. It shut down its domestic ivory trade at the end of 2017. If China can stop their domestic trade, why can’t Canada?
On March 1, 2018, the United States lifted the ban on the importation of elephant trophies. If the U.S. cannot protect elephants, there is even more onus on the rest of the world to do all we can to save this iconic species.
We feel new legislation can protect both elephants and the indigenous trade of narwhal and walrus. We ask the government of Canada to:
- ban all domestic trade of elephant ivory; and
make the import, export and re-export of all elephant ivory illegal.
Let’s make Canada one of the many countries changing their laws to allow the survival of the world’s largest land mammal before it’s too late. Sign for an #ivoryfreecanada.
Photo Credit: Larry Laverty