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18 May 2017

EU recommendation to ban raw ivory exports

Commenting on the EU recommendation to ban raw ivory exports, and the issuance of guidelines Heather Sohlchief advisor on wildlife at WWF-UK, said:

This decision by the EU is welcome as it will strengthen EU controls on the elephant ivory trade and we will be closely assessing the use of the new guidelines.  With one African elephant killed on average every 25 minutes we need strong global action to tackle this global problem.

“The world will be looking to the UK as London hosts the next Illegal Wildlife Trade conference in 2018 and we risk our reputation as a world leader in tackling illegal wildlife trade unless we act quickly to shut down our ivory market. It’s vital that the next Government of the UK start their public consultation on the UK’s legal ivory trade as soon as possible. The UK must send a strong message that we refuse to play any part in the illegal ivory trade.”

Recent global announcements

In recent months there has been significant progress worldwide to reduce ivory demand and stem elephant poaching.

  • China, home to the world’s largest legal and illegal ivory markets announced they will ban domestic trade by the end of 2017.
  • The US has introduced a near-total ban.
  • Hong Kong has committed to closing its domestic market.
  • France strengthens regulations on its legal trade

Key stats on the illegal wildlife trade

  • An African elephant is poached on average every 25 minutes.
  • The illegal wildlife trade is the fourth largest international illegal trade in the world
  • The illegal wildlife trade is worth over an estimated £15 billion annually.
  • The illegal wildlife trade is one of the main threats to iconic species such as tigers, rhinos and elephants.