LONDON: Responding to the release today (October 18) of the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee’s Wildlife Crime: Third Report of Session 2012-13, the London-based Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) makes the following statement:
“EIA welcomes the recommendation by the UK’s influential Environmental Audit Committee that there should be a complete ban on the trade in ivory from all sources.
“The Committee clearly recognises that previous attempts to satisfy consumer demand for ivory products via limited ‘one-off sales’ of ivory from stockpiles in African countries have failed to reduce the illegal trade or the poaching of elephants. These sales have been sanctioned through the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), an intergovernmental body of which the UK is a part.
“‘It it deeply gratifying to see the Committee recognising the failure of the existing legal ivory trade and calling for a total ban, a position EIA has strongly advocated for many years.
“Through our extensive undercover investigations, EIA knows that the illegal ivory trade is rampant in many countries, particularly China, and it is now crucial that the UK Government heeds this advice and works closely with its European partners to ensure that no further sales of ivory are allowed through CITES. Further sales will only stimulate demand and increase poaching throughout Africa and Asia.
“EIA is also strongly supportive of the Committee’s call on the Government to urgently address failings in current UK wildlife protection legislation. In terms of international wildlife crime, EIA is glad to see the Committee urging the UK Government to exert ‘robust diplomatic pressure’ in seeking the development and enforcement of wildlife law at the next CITES meeting in March 2013.”
Additional comment and interviews are available on request: please contact EIA Executive Director Mary Rice via firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 020 7354 7960.