The Belgian parliament passed a national trade ban on ivory on the evening of 4 April. Exceptions, however, continue to apply to processed ivory, which was acquired before 1975.
The Belgian Ministry of the Environment has up to now spoken out against trade restrictions – but now supports a ban in Belgium and at EU level.
Thus, the pressure on other EU member states and the EU Commission to prohibit trade increases. Daniela Freyer of the animal and species protection organization Pro Wildlife comments:
“We hope that the turnaround in Belgium will help finally usher in the end of the ivory trade in Europe.
Germany and the EU should not be in bottom position and should finally ban the ivory trade. “
In July 2018, the Federal Government, together with France, Great Britain and Luxembourg, demanded EU-wide restrictions on the ivory trade.
“Because of the inaction of the EU, all these countries have already acted at national level – only Germany so far not” so Daniela Freyer (ProWildlife)
The United Kingdom adopted the strictest ban in December 2018, Luxembourg in July 2018, Belgium on April 4, 2019. France has already imposed trade restrictions in 2016 and the Netherlands has at least prohibited the sale of tusks and other raw ivory since March 2019.
The EU has been strongly criticized for years: despite numerous international resolutions and demands for a closure of the ivory markets and although the international ivory trade has been banned since 1990, it still allows the trade in ivory from alleged old stocks, sometimes even without permission and thus without control options.
Ivory poaching elephants can be traded through this loophole.
In addition, the EU is the largest exporter of supposedly “old” ivory to Asia, the largest market for ivory.
“The sale of ivory in the EU and exports to Asia undermine global efforts to control poaching and trafficking,” said the Pro Wildlife spokeswoman. The EU has already announced steps against the ivory trade three years ago, but has so far only banned the export of full tusks and other raw ivory.
Export and trade of ivory carvings are still allowed.
China, formerly the largest market for legal and illegal ivory, had already closed its ivory shops and carving factories in early 2018. Demand and black market prices have fallen significantly since then.
In the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong, an ivory ban should come into force in 2021, in Taiwan in 2020. The vast majority of African states that have joined forces in the 32-member African Elephant Coalition, conservationists, scientists, the European Parliament and some traders demand a trade ban for a long time.
The result of a public consultation of the EU Commission is also clear: 92 percent of the almost 90,000 responses call for a consistent ban on ivory trade in the EU. In petitions by animal and species protection organizations, well over one million people have called for a ban.
“It is high time that the EU rejects bloody ivory trade once and for all, and that it no longer ignores international decisions, demands from African states, the European Parliament, scientists, animal rights activists and more than one million EU citizens”, so Daniela Freyer
The closing of the ivory markets will also be the focus of attention at the forthcoming CITES Species Protection Conference in Sri Lanka from the end of May.
Background of the story
So far in the EU the trade with ivory from allegedly legal old stock, which was acquired before 1990, is allowed.
For alleged antiquities acquired before 1947, not even approvals are required.
Reliable age determination is almost impossible, checking the legality of “antiques” that are offered on the Internet, in auction houses, in shops and flea markets are rare.
These exceptions therefore make it possible to infiltrate poached ivory into legal trade.
In addition, in recent years the EU has become the largest exporter of “legal” ivory to Asia: in 2015 alone, EU countries exported 10,000 pieces of ivory – mainly to China.
Currently, every year about 20,000 elephants are poached for the ivory trade.
My comment: Every day we get a new reason to be against the EU. The more informed one is, the greater is the anger, the rejection, but also the fear that nothing positive and ethical can arise for the animals under this oligarchic gang.
Stefan B. Eck, the well-known MEP, has officially told the European Commission: “EU parliamentarians are no longer allowed to use the word ” morality ” in their mouths”!
And he was right!!
The EU (and that means above all Germany) is nothing more than a lobby for the exploitation of animals, regardless of the form in which it occurs: aggrar lobby, trophy hunting, meat mafia, animal experimentation, circus with wild animal…. The list is so long that you lose your courage, keep counting.
Thank you, Belgium! We need more courage, independence and resistance from the inner circle of the EU, because obviously, the will of EU citizens to abolish the suffering of animals interests the EU a shit.
My best regards, Venus