#NoIvoryInEu: An IFAW campaign to close the European ivory trade

#NoIvoryInEu: An IFAW campaign to close the European ivory trade
Monday, 3 July, 2017
Brussels, Belgium

A new campaign to end the sales of ivory in Europe is being launched today by the International Fund for Animal welfare. Elephants are in crisis. After surviving for over 5 million years, these sentient, highly intelligent and social animals are now threatened with extinction as tens of thousands are killed each year to feed an apparent insatiable appetite for ivory. To meet demand elephants are killed inhumanely using weapons that are designed to kill an 80kg human rather than a 5000kg animal. As such it can take many bullets and a long time for an elephant to die.

As ivory remains on sale in many EU countries at markets, auctions, antique shops and online, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) is today urging the European (EU) Institutions and Member States to close their domestic ivory markets. The legal ivory trade in the EU fuels the drop in elephant populations by serving as a cover for trade in illicit ivory. Legal exports from the EU are helping to drive demand in consumer countries in South East Asia. Currently, the EU regulations allow trade under prescribed conditions for antique ivory1 and pre-Convention ivory2.

IFAW believes that despite encouraging steps taken by the EU there are still many loopholes that need to be addressed as highlighted in our latest briefing to stop the rapid decline in elephant populations.

The international community has recognized the problem and adopted two important resolutions calling for the closure of the ivory domestic market at the last Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Conference of the Parties 17 and at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) congress. China, the world’s largest destination for ivory, has recently banned most commercial imports of ivory and has committed to close its commercial processing and trade in ivory by end of 2017. It has also called on the EU to take a stronger stance.

In a recent IFAW survey, EU citizens, interviewed in fifteen Member States, said they would support a full ban on the trade of all ivory in the EU. “With elephants being butchered at such alarming rates, ivory should no longer be seen as desirable item”; states Sonja Van Tichelen, European Regional Director. “We are encouraged to see that 90% of the interviewees had no desire in buying ivory products.” Surprisingly, only 42% of people surveyed were aware that elephants are brutally killed for their ivory and 24% were unaware that elephants die for their tusks.

It is now time that European citizens ask their government and the European Commission to close of all ivory markets in the European Union to help elephants. Watch the video now and sign our petition to demonstrate your support.

About IFAW (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. Follow us on social @IFAWEU and Facebook/IFAW.

1 “worked” specimens acquired before 3 March 1947

2 “raw” or “worked” items acquired before the date on which CITES or the EU Wildlife Trade Regulations became applicable to them in the country in which they were acquired



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Azzedine Downes,IFAW President and CEO
President and Chief Executive Officer
Beth Allgood, Country Director, United States
Country Director, United States
Cynthia Milburn, Director, Animal Welfare Outreach & Education
Senior Advisor, Policy Development
Dr. Maria (Masha) N. Vorontsova, Senior Advisor to the IFAW Marine Conservation
Senior Advisor to the IFAW Marine Conservation Program
Faye Cuevas, Esq.
Senior Vice President
Grace Ge Gabriel, Regional Director, Asia
Regional Director, Asia
Jason Bell, Vice President for Conservation and Animal Welfare
Vice President for Conservation and Animal Welfare
Matt Collis, Director, International Policy
Director, International Policy
Patrick Ramage, Program Director, Whales
Program Director, Marine Conservation
Sonja Van Tichelen, Vice President of International Operations
Vice President of International Operations
Staci McLennan, Director, EU Office
Director, EU Office
Tania McCrea-Steele, Project Lead, Global Wildlife Cybercrime
Project Lead, Global Wildlife Cybercrime