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EUROPEAN UNION Stop All Ivory Trade

Stop All Ivory Trade

The twenty-nine member African Elephant Coalition has once again called governments of the world to support their request to end all trade in elephant ivory in order to safeguard the future of elephants as a matter of urgency. This plea was heard yesterday in Geneva at the second day of the 69th Standing Committee Meeting of CITES The Elephant Action League - EALhighlighted the EU and Japan as nations playing an active role in the ivory trade.

The European Commission has called on its citizens, organizations and other interested stakeholders to participate in an online consultation to gather information and views on the ivory trade in the EU and the actions that the EU should take against Ivory trafficking.

EU Survey:…/…/SurveyOnIvoryTradeInTheEU2017
Helpful Guide to Survey:…/…/eu_ivory_consultation_2/…

In the EU CITES regulations stipulates the following with regard to the ivory trade: 
Intra-EU trade is authorized for Ivory imported into the EU before the elephant species was listed in Appendix 1 of CITES (18th January 1990 for African Elephant and 1st July 1975 for Asian Elephant). Intra-EU trade can only occur if a certificate has been issued to this effect by the relevant EU Member States, except for worked specimens acquired before 3rd March 1947 (Antiques), which can be traded in the EU without a certificate.

The “legal” trade in ivory in the EU fuels the elephant poaching crisis, on average 20000 elephants are killed each year in Africa. A published report as early as 2005 proved that much of the worked ivory being trade in the EU lacked the correct documentation.

The largest markets in the EU exist in the U.K. and Germany, smaller markets exist in France, Italy, Portugal and Spain. The largest market in the EU of course is the internet. It remains largely unregulated and provides opportunity of criminal activity.

In 2014 the International Fund for Animal Welfare - IFAW carried out an investigation and found a total of 33 006 endangered wildlife and wildlife parts and products for sale via 208 online market places across 16 countries. Ivory made up 32% of those products.

Recent customs seizures confirm the increased role of the EU as a transit route and consumer market for poached ivory. Between 2011 and 2014 4500 ivory items en route from Africa to China, Vietnam and Hong Kong were seized by EU member states.

The USA and China have taken decisive action to close their ivory markets the EU is lagging behind. There is a continued risk that the EU markets are fueling the demand for ivory and that these legal markets are providing the necessary cover for criminals intending to launder ivory.
We urge everyone to participate in the online survey. As a matter of urgency.


Megan Carr
VP Social Media

Born Free Foundation
David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation
Two Million Tusks
The Humane Society of the United States
Future for Elephants e.V.
Action for Elephants UK events page


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