French minister of environment announces an unprecedented total domestic ban of ivory

Ségolène Royal announces ivory ban in France
Monday, 2 May, 2016
Reims, France

The French minister of the Environment, Energy and the Sea, Ségolène Royal, seized the opportunity of the biggest ivory destruction ever in Kenya last Saturday to announce internationally her decision to adopt a total ban of ivory sales in France. She declared that she would be promoting an enlargement of this measure to other EU countries.

An IFAW poll conducted by Ifop in June 2015 revealed that ¾ of French citizens were favorable to a total ivory ban in France.

Mrs. Royal went one step further with this announcement after several key decisions:

- The ban of raw ivory exports to third countries;
 
- The call to EU member states to ban raw ivory exports as Germany, Sweden and United Kingdom already did;
 
- A reinforced cooperation between Ministry of the Environment and the customs to increase the efficiency of the fight against wildlife trafficking.

Finally the law on biodiversity currently discussed in Parliament includes increased penalties for wildlife traffickers: from €15,000 to €150,000 for individuals and from €150,000 to €750,000 in case of criminal syndicate trafficking.

“This is an excellent decision made by our minister and consistent with the commitments made by the President Hollande himself in December 2013 to fight wildlife poaching and trafficking at the national, European and international level” comments Céline Sissler- Bienvenu, Director of IFAW France and francophone Africa. “IFAW will now stand with the ministry to ensure this ban is implemented and enforced appropriately with no step back.”

In July 2015, IFAW revealed that no less than two tons of ivory had been sold in auctions houses in France. In the report Wanted dead or alive published in November 2014, IFAW revealed that during its six-week survey of online market places, 446 ads were found selling ivory or supposed ivory.

Most illegal ivory is destined for Asia, in particular China, where it has soared in value as an investment vehicle and is coveted as “white gold”.

The 2013 IFAW report, Criminal Nature: The Global Security Implications of the Illegal Wildlife Trade, documents the threat the illegal wildlife trade poses to elephants, rhinos and people.

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About IFAW (The International Fund for Animal Welfare)

Founded in 1969, IFAW rescues and protects animals around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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