It is said an elephant never forgets, and we must never forget the war that has been targeting elephants for centuries. Their strong white tusks have long been sought after for use in decorative household items like pianos and statues. However, as awareness has increased about the detrimental effects of elephant poaching, there have been major improvements in laws regarding the ivory trade.
Perhaps most significant of these changes in laws regarding ivory is China vowing to end the sell of ivory by the end of 2017, with a number of factories dealing with ivory shutting down in March 2017. As the world’s leading consumer of ivory, this is a giant step in the right direction for animal protection and biodiversity. Additionally, France and the United States have similar laws in effect.
Despite these recent improvements, corruption is inevitable in a trade so wrought with greed. Trade laws have a major loophole that is letting poachers and ivory dealers get away with murder. Laws regarding ivory say that the sale of newly-poached ivory is illegal, but the sale of antique ivory is permitted. This loophole is allowing ivory traders to claim new ivory is old, which in effect, is doing nothing to help stop ongoing elephant poaching worldwide.
Although Australia is not a major contributor to the global ivory trade, according to a petition on Care2, the sale of ivory and rhino horn in Australian auction houses brings in hundreds of thousands of dollars annually. Of those items, only eight percent were accompanied with legitimate provenance proving they were in fact pieces of antique ivory.
The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) is asking each of us to send a letter to Australia’s government asking for stricter regulation of its sale of ivory. To speak up for these pachyderms and urge Australian officials to change their laws regarding ivory, please sign this petition and share with your friends and family!
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