Silent vigil for elephants and rhinos in London as people speak out against extinction all over the world

Protest against the ivory and rhino horn trade in London 2017

Today, I was proud to be a part of the fourth annual march for elephants and rhinos in London. It was a powerful occasion that saw hundreds of people who care about animals come together and observe 30 minutes silence for all those who have been killed for their tusks or horns.

The scale of slaughter is almost unimaginable. It’s reduced elephant numbers to around 400,000 and put these remarkable animals on the path to extinction – all for a product that no one needs.

Similar events have been taking place globally today, from Melbourne, to Tokyo, to Chicago and Johannesburg. Every continent is witnessing action for the future of these iconic species.

And this year, the timing couldn’t have been better. Just yesterday, we welcomed the plans unveiled by the Government for a total UK ivory ban, and now our priority is keeping up the pressure to make sure that those plans become law as soon as possible. After all, we’ve waited so long for action on the ivory trade, and, with around 50 elephants dying every day, every delay costs lives.

Prior to the vigil, we also took part in the hand-in of a joint letter to Number 10 Downing Street, calling for real action to protect elephants from the Prime Minister. It’s been great to see how many groups and high-profile figures added their names to the letter, including famous names such as Jane Goodall, Joanna Lumley, William Shatner and Joaquin Phoenix.

Thank you to our friends at Action for Elephants UK for organising this great event, and to everyone who took part! These actions have helped to re-affirm the huge public support for a UK ivory ban, and are creating a wave of momentum that, we’re sure, can only end with the law being changed to truly protect elephants.


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Azzedine Downes,IFAW President and CEO
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Céline Sissler-Bienvenu, Director, France and Francophone Africa
Director, France and Francophone Africa
Dr. Elsayed Ahmed Mohamed, Regional Director, Middle East and North Africa
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Dr. Maria (Masha) N. Vorontsova, Senior Advisor to the IFAW Marine Conservation
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