Time for China to Stop Being a Pariah and Save the Elephants – Ivory Protest
Action for Elephants UK, with the support of wildlife charity Care for the Wild, is holding a peaceful public demonstration outside the Chinese Embassy in London on Saturday 24th January to call on the Chinese government to take urgent action to ban the trade in ivory and to close its ivory carving factories.
As the biggest global consumer of ivory, China plays a major part in driving the slaughter of an estimated 30,000-50,000 African elephants each year – that’s up to 100 every day. Their tusks are hacked from their faces, often while they are still alive, to be illegally trafficked and shipped to China and other countries to feed the surging demand for ivory.
“We look to China to take a leadership role in saving African elephants, which are currently being poached at a faster rate than they reproduce – time is running out for them,” says Denise Dresner of Action for Elephants. “No one wants to imagine an Earth with no more elephants, but at the current rate of poaching that’s a very real possibility, and something we may see happen in our lifetimes. China has everything to gain by acting now to prevent this.”
While many other countries play a part in the poaching, trafficking, and importing of ivory, most of the poached tusks find their way to China, where the demand for ivory has soared in recent years due to the growing affluence of its middle class. The ivory is carved into useless trinkets and ornaments that command a high price as status items. Tens of thousands of African elephants are being brutally slaughtered each year to feed this consumer demand – a demand which now threatens them with extinction. The tradition of ivory carving, like many other unethical and unsustainable practices that have been ended, belongs in the past, not in the 21st century when so much of the world’s wildlife is being decimated and faces extinction.
“China has the power to save the world’s elephants, it’s as simple as that. The country has moved to save the panda, because it’s their national symbol, but the elephant is a global symbol,” says Dominic Dyer of Care for the Wild.
“Many people around the world see China as the enemy, as the user of ivory and the producer of potions made from every endangered animal possible. It’s time for China to take up its role as a global partner, not a pariah. We’ll be asking China to tell its citizens the true cost of ivory, and to stop carving and selling ivory. This unnecessary trade does nothing to benefit a great nation – to allow it to continue will shame them, but to end it will bring them respect and gratitude.”
This protest is aimed at China since China alone has the global influence and power to bring this chain of carnage, violence, and illegal trade – and all the suffering it entails – to an end, by closing down its domestic market and the carving industry that supports it. If the demand ends, the killing will too.
Please come along on January 24th at 12:30-14:30 to add your voice to the growing call for China to end the trade and help save the elephants. Confirmed speakers include Dominic Dyer from Care for the Wild and Trevor Jones from Southern Tanzania Elephant Project.
You can find out more about the protest at Action for Elephants’ event page
Find out more about the Care for the Wild Last Chance for Elephants campaign.