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Prince William Attacks China on Ivory

Prince William is right to criticise the ivory trade, says Care for the WIld International, and shouldn’t be afraid to lay much of the blame at China’s door.

The Prince was ‘risking a diplomatic incident’ by taking the stance, claim some newspapers, as he is set to condemn the illegal wildlife trade. Elephants, rhinos, tigers and lions are all at risk of extinction within around 20 years if immediate action isn’t taken.

IvoryChina is home to a massive ivory trade which has led to around 40,000 elephants being killed a year for their tusks. Rhino are killed for their horn, which in some countries, particularly Vietnam, is valued for ‘medicinal’ properties, even though none have ever been proven. Lions and tigers are killed for their body parts which often end up in traditional medicine remedies.

Dominic Dyer, Policy Advisor to Care for the Wild International, said:

“This is a brave stance from Prince William and one which we support wholeheartedly. While it’s usually not appropriate to attack a country for the acts of some of its citizens, in this case it’s understandable as China has the future of the world’s wildlife in its hands, and it needs to take action.”

**Watch Dominic Dyer discuss this story on Sky News**

“We know that the price of ivory has rocketed. We also know that many people in China don’t understand that you need to kill elephants to get ivory. China needs to deal with those two issues – kill the trade, kill the market, and stop killing elephants.

“Only last week there were reports that Chinese officials visiting Tanzania with their President bought up huge amounts of ivory themselves. If that’s true and those at the top are lining their pockets, we’ve got a serious problem.”

Care for the Wild's Philip Mansbridge and Dominic Dyer support Action for Elephants at the ivory protest

Care for the Wild’s Philip Mansbridge and Dominic Dyer support Action for Elephants at the 2914 ivory protest – another one is planned for January 2015

“Prince William will also no doubt be attacked by those who think he should be concerned by human plight, not the plight of animals, but they would be missing the point. In many ways the two are intrinsically linked, as the vast amounts of money raised by the poachers is probably not being given to charitable causes. Links from poaching to terrorism and organised crime have already been made. In addition, the economy of many countries is reliant on their wildlife and the tourist trade – take it away and that will have a devastating effect.

“What kind of a society are we which allows a minority to extinguish some of the most amazing animals ever to walk on this planet for the sake of a trinket on the mantelpiece? It’s absurd and disgusting. We’ve all grown up loving lions, tigers, elephant and rhinos, in stories if not for real. They are part of our world, and if we let them die then we are all responsible, and we will all suffer for their loss.”

Care for the Wild has been rescuing, protecting and defending wildlife around the world for 30 years. We are taking part in a peaceful demonstration outside the Chinese Embassy on January 24th – please join us and Action4Elephants via the event page.

Find out more about our Last Chance for Elephants campaign

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