Conservative MEPs back call by HRH The Duke of Cambridge to end the illegal wildlife trade

23-Sep-2016 @ 14:00

Emma McClarkin Emma McClarkin

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Conservative MEPs back call by HRH The Duke of Cambridge to end the illegal wildlife trade

Conservative MEPs Emma McClarkin and Julie Girling today backed HRH The Duke of Cambridge as he called for the end of the illegal wildlife trade.

Speaking at the Time for Change international event in London organised by the wildlife charity Tusk, Prince William urged the international community to send a clear message that ivory is a symbol of destruction, not of luxury and not something that anyone needs to buy or sell.

HRH said: "We have the opportunity to end, once and for all, the mixed messages we have sent for too long about the value and desirability of wildlife products. . . .When I was born, there were 1 million elephants roaming Africa. By the time my daughter Charlotte was born last year, the numbers of savannah elephants had crashed to just 350,000. And at the current pace of illegal poaching, when Charlotte turns 25 the African elephant will be gone from the wild."

The speech was hosted in London and broadcast to events taking place in Tokyo and Johannesburg where the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) is taking place.

Speaking from the convention, Conservative International Trade Spokesperson Emma McClarkin MEP said: “It is vital that the international community works together to stop illegal wildlife trade which generates an illicit economy of billions of dollars each year and threatens the sustainability of our ecosystem but also the stability of many developing countries.”

Emma is attending the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) where she will meet with a range of experts from government, international organisations, and non-profits to compile her report on illegal wildlife trade and her recommendations for tackling, due for debate in December.

The Time for Change event follows the UK government’s announcement to ban modern day ivory sales. The plans announced by the Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom will introduce a ban on the sale of items containing ivory dated between 1947 and the present day.

While Julie Girling MEP as the Environment co-ordinator for the European Conservative and Reformist Group welcomes this modern day ivory sales ban as an important step to end the illegal wildlife trade, she believes more needs to be done commenting: "Whilst stricter measures are to be welcomed, the evidence has shown that it is far too easy to fake old ivory and substitute mammoth ivory. I would prefer to see a total ban on trade in ivory as it is the only way to prevent illegal ivory from entering the market. The world can do without Ivory trinkets; we can't do without elephants."

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