Europe: a henchman of elephant poachers


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The EU is deeply involved in ivory business. Tons of ivory are traded, imported and exported within the EU. Europe is a henchman of elephant poachers.



The idea is wrong that elephants are poached in Africa, their ivory is sold to Asia – and that Europe has nothing to do with it. Rather, Europe plays a central role as a hub for the legal and illegal trade in ivory.


The sale, import and export of ivory is legal in Europe if it comes from old stock. An invitation to criminals! Legal trade allows them to infiltrate illegal ivory of poached elephants.

32 African countries have appealed to the European Union to stop ivory trade.

Europe is a henchman of elephant poachers.

In the EU, ivory is offered open at auctions, in stores and on the internet. Some EU companies have even specialized in the purchase and export of ivory to Asia: More than seven tons of ivory and more than 12,000 ivory carvings have been sold to Hong Kong alone in the last two years.

The international community has now called on all governments at two important conferences to close their national ivory markets.

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The EU does not comply with this demand and undermines the global efforts to save the elephants.

Although Germany supports stricter rules than the EU Commission, it intends to continue to facilitate the trade in ivory carvings, antiques and musical instruments.

A development in Asia aggravates the situation: Elephants are also killed because of their skin, because it is believed that the elephant skin has healing properties.
In Myanmar, up to 110 skinned elephants were found within four years. One could despair.

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But in terms of ivory, we can do something – on our doorstep!

Please ask the EU to ban the ivory trade completely. Only then will the mass poaching of elephants come to an end.

Sign and share the petition:

This is the original letter in English:

I am calling on the Commission and Member States of the European Union to ban all exports and imports of ivory and to close the EU’s domestic ivory market. The international community at the recent CITES conference and at the IUCN World Congress adopted two resolutions, calling on all governments to close their domestic ivory markets. The EU maintains an active ivory market for “pre-convention” ivory, and is the biggest exporter of ivory to China and Hong Kong, with exports of worked ivory experiencing an alarming increase in the last two years. The legal trade enables that ivory from poached elephants is laundered. It fuels demand and corruption. Moreover, EU Member States are clearly being used as transit countries to smuggle illegal ivory from elephants poached in Africa to Asia. Huge shipments have been seized in EU Member States recently and ivory is on top of the list of seized wildlife products in the EU.

As actions are increasingly being taken around the world to close domestic ivory markets and destroy stockpiles of seized and confiscated ivory, I am urging the EU to take responsibility to end its own role in the ivory trade


My comment: The European Commission knows very well that the EU is being used to “wash” illegal ivory, and is instrumental in ensuring that about 35,000 elephants still die each year.

When the international ivory trade was banned in 1989, the eradication of the African elephant seemed to have been averted. After a decade of slaughter, in which the number of animals worldwide halved, the populations recovered.

Unfortunately, however, the international trade ban did not last long: at the instigation of four states in southern Africa, it was eroded just a few years later.

Statistics show that poaching and ivory smuggling have seen a bloody comeback since 2008: in particular, the rapid increase in demand in China, combined with rising purchasing power, led to the poaching of about 100,000 elephants in Africa in the years 2010-2012 alone.

2008 In China, the price of raw ivory rose to as much as $ 2,100 per kilo.

At the same time, state-licensed ivory shops and carving factories sprang up in China, as did illegal business. Because of ivory were many of thousands of elephants killed, and China and Hong Kong became the largest markets for both legal and illegal ivory.

Since then, heavily armed poachers have been killing entire herds of elephants, chopping off their tusks with axes.
Masterminds are globally organized criminal gangs who hire poachers in Africa and equip them with automatic weapons. They bribe politicians, authorities and freight companies and create the “white gold” in containers, air freight shipments and personal luggage hidden through various stops in the main sales markets in Asia.

The good news is: China has already banned trade under international pressure.
The US should not import hunting trophies in the future either.

The pressure on the EU Commission must grow. The number of signatures in this petirion approaches the million, and from 1 million votes, the commission is obliged to take an official position on the subject.

My best regards to all, Venus


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