Theresa May scraps Tory pledge to ban sales of ivory in the UK

I’ve had people defend Prime Minister Theresa May on this site when I called her “odious”. That was in reference to her plan to bring back the filthy sport of fox hunting in Britain.

Okay, if you don’t think that’s odious, how about her new scrapping of a Tory pledge to ban ivory trade in the UK? As you know, the ivory trade, especially in China, is the main reason why African elephants are slaughtered by poachers, many of whom kill a magnificent elephant just to saw off its tusks, which are very valuable.

In 2010, Cameron’s Tory government pledged to honor the ban on ivory sales mentioned below, a pledge reiterated five years later, but so far the government has dragged its feet. As the Guardian reported in February of this year;

Last year countries reached a historic international agreement to shut down domestic ivory markets that contribute to poaching or illegal trade. The recommendation applies to parties to the convention on the international trade in endangered species (Cites), which includes the UK, the EU, China, the US and 29 African countries, calling themselves the African Elephant Coalition (AEC), along with Botswana, formerly a major ivory trading nation.

“But,” warns Patrick Ormondi, chair of the AEC, “it will be meaningless if countries ignore it.”

Outside Africa only China, India, the US and France – the lone standout European country – have responded by implementing measures to close their domestic markets. On the 30 December China’s announcement that it will stop its ivory trade by 2017 effectively closed down the world’s largest domestic market.

Meanwhile, back in the UK:

The UK and Europe’s domestic ivory markets are thriving and the bloc is the world’s largest exporter of antique ivory. International trade in ivory is permitted under Cites regulations, but may only involve ivory acquired before the convention came into being in 1975, and only as long as a certificate proving each item’s age is provided. In the case of the UK, antique ivory is classified as ivory acquired before 1947, which some have said goes further than internationally agreed regulations.

However, the antique trade is said to contribute directly to illegal trade, providing the opportunity for illegal ivory to be laundered. According to Conservative Party MP, Luke Hall, who introduced the debate: “It is difficult for our law enforcement officers to tell the difference between pre and post-1947 ivory, especially as newer ivory is frequently and deliberately disguised as antique.”

An EU document issued in February 2016 states that: “Between 2011 and 2014, EU member states reported seizures of around 4,500 ivory items reported as specimens and an additional 780kg as reported by weight.” Most was destined for Asia, particularly China, Hong Kong and Vietnam.

The report notes that: “it is often difficult to distinguish pre-convention specimens”, and points out there are many cases of buyers purchasing ivory using forged pre-convention certificates with the intention of exporting them illegally to Asia.

The UK is by far the largest exporter of ivory items by number among EU member states with declared exports of 25,351 ivory items, 54% of the EU total, between 2006-2015.

. . . The UK seems to be doing little too. This is the second time that the domestic ivory has been debated in the house in the past two months, following a debate on 8 December, when minister of environment Therese Coffey minister promised a consultation, something that has yet to occur.

Labour MP, John Mann, summed up the public mood: “If I were a minister, I would ban the lot and stop any trade in or movement of ivory. The survival of the elephant is far more important than a museum. It is about time we were bold and said that there should be no half-measures, mixed messages, little promises or small steps forwards. A total ban is what I want.”

Sadly, in spite of overwhelming cross-party support from MPs and strong public support for action on this issue, Coffey’s response was simply that consultation on whether or not to close down the domestic ivory trade would begin “shortly” and that she “really hope[s] it will be as soon as possible” – a claim that had already been made in December.

Now, according to several sources (e.g., here, here, and here), the Tories have quietly dropped their commitment—reaffirmed to years ago—to a ban on ivory trading, a ban favored by, among others, Prince William. According to several reports, that’s probably due to pressure on the government from antique dealers, who want to continue selling ivory items without the often hard to get documentation that it’s older, pre-ban ivory.

Between 2012 and 2015, 100,000 African elephants were slaughtered: that’s a quarter of the present population of 400,000, which is half of what it was in 1990.

Even the U.S. has signed the ivory ban and is enforcing it, but May and her Tories can’t be arsed to bother: they in fact want foxes to be slaughtered and don’t care much about the killing of elephants. Signing the ban is the right thing to do, and will help (although not as much as did China) in curbing the slaughter of elephants. Yes, Teresa May is odious.

This is what happens when bans aren’t enforced:

 

65 Comments

  1. Posted May 22, 2017 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    That is a heartbreaking picture of a magnificent creature–and I’m talking about the poor elephant, not Theresa May. For all of our intelligence and power, why aren’t humans doing more to save animals that we’re about to lose forever?

  2. Posted May 22, 2017 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    This is terrible. And I thought the Brits were civilized people. My British friends certainly are.

    If anybody finds a petition to sign against this, please let me know.

    I would say more about May, but we are not supposed to insult people on this site. 😉

    • rickflick
      Posted May 22, 2017 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      She’s not really ON this site, so go right ahead and toss her an insult if you like.

      • Posted May 23, 2017 at 8:38 am | Permalink

        The “Dementia Tax” she put in the Tory Manifesto which drew such approbium that she did an instantaneous U Turn of sorts,will give you some measure of her Moral Compass or lack of same. To cut a long story short, this proposed Tax, involves one of the biggest markets in the UK at the moment, the Equity Release Market, one of the biggest players in this Market are Legal & General “Insurance Giant” with a 29% Share, one of the owners of L&G are Capital Group a Trillion Pound Hedge Fund,and one of the Senior Executives of this Fund is ? “drum roll” one Peter May the Husband of the aforesaid odious PM of this Land.

        • rickflick
          Posted May 23, 2017 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

          I knew you were just warming up. This is interesting to Americans who want to see how it’s done to you before it’s done to us.

    • Richard Jones
      Posted May 22, 2017 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

      I am not sure that high Tories have ever been civilised, hunting foxes, slaughtering birds which are bred to be shot, the gamekeepers almost wiping out birds like the red kite so that grouse can live to be shot by the rich.

      When I was a child growing up working class in Britain Tory was practically a swear word. I don’t think they have changed much but I now live elsewhere.

      • David Coxill
        Posted May 23, 2017 at 8:57 am | Permalink

        Take it from me they haven’t changed a bit ,can’t figure out why working class and poor people continue to vote for them .
        I heard a story about the late Eric Sykes ,he said his dad borrowed a pair of boots so he could walk to vote tory .

        • Richard Jones
          Posted May 23, 2017 at 10:42 am | Permalink

          We never voted Tory but a lot of working class people do; strange.

      • Mike
        Posted May 24, 2017 at 8:03 am | Permalink

        it still is to me.lol

  3. Kevin
    Posted May 22, 2017 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    This is not a solution, but imagining May’s finger nails removed without anesthesia is a consolation.

  4. rickflick
    Posted May 22, 2017 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    I happy to see that the US has joined the ban. With republicans holding both houses of congress, I’d almost expect them to revert to how it was during the Leave it to Beaver era. Free trade is always available as an excuse when lobbyists appear with bags full of cash.

    • Rita
      Posted May 22, 2017 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      Good thing the elephant is the Republican symbol and not the Donkey!

  5. Randy schenck
    Posted May 22, 2017 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    I would say odious is the best thing that could be say about May. Such idiots.

    • Randy schenck
      Posted May 22, 2017 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      And just think, yesterday was the last performance of the Barnum Bailey circus. Thanks, not to regulations but to demonstrators, animal rights groups and economic down turn (ticket sales).

  6. Posted May 22, 2017 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    Regulating ivory trade is tricky. I recall reading about IIRC the Chicago Symphany Orchestra trying to tour and running into issues because some very tiny part of some of the string instruments was made of ivory. These were Stradivarius or something so it’s not like you could replace it with plastic. Bringing it with you to make music was considered importing ivory. .

  7. Jonathan Wallace
    Posted May 22, 2017 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    I deeply dislike Mrs May and her party and will not be voting for them in the forthcoming election. With respect to environmental protection the Tory government, under Cameron and then May, has a very poor record. On the ivory ban issue I am prepared to reserve judgement for the time being as there has been no announcement of any sort of abandoning a ban on ivory sales – it is simply not mentioned in their election manifesto which in general has little to say on the environment. They may intend to drop it but they have not said so in so many words (to my knowledge). Also the impression given that there will be no restriction of any kind on ivory sales may also be misleading – as far as I understand it the reservations of the government minister involved relate to sales of pre-1947 ivory and I am not aware that there has been any indication that they wish to see all restrictions on ivory trading restricted.

    Having said this I personally would wish to see the government adopting the most rigorous and effective controls on ivory trade so as to squeeze elephant poaching completely out of business. I am not at all confident that any Tory government will provide this.

    • David Coxill
      Posted May 23, 2017 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      Remember when David _call me Dave_ Cameron said his Govt was going to be the greenest ever .

  8. Craw
    Posted May 22, 2017 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    Emotion is overwhelming logic here. Consider the quoted Labour MP’s comments
    “I would ban .. any… movement of ivory. The survival of the elephant is far more important than a museum … A total ban is what I want.” That would mean that exhibits of ancient Chinese or Arab art with ivory could be held. 200 year old fortepianos could not be shifted to the concert hall for a performance. Tusks could not be sent to the lab for carbon dating. My great aunt could not wear her great grandmother’s broach coming down the stairs. This isn’t reason, it’s vandalism. It’s imputing something like original sin to objects, which must be cast out.

    • Posted May 22, 2017 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      Is it not possible to craft a law that allows museums to send artifacts or your great-granny to wear her brooch but have a total ban on the sale of ivory?

      Talk about emotion overwhelming logic.

  9. Peter
    Posted May 22, 2017 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    I do not understand why PCC(E) is against fox hunting given that he is an omnivore.
    I can see that he might be against the elephant trade since elephants are among the most intelligent animals. Are foxes smarter than cows, pigs, lambs, etc. ?

    I’ve come to the conclusion that consuming any animal products is unethical. I recommend to anybody Peter Singer’s classic book “Animal Liberation”. It is as relevant today as it was in 1975, the year of its publications.
    Here’s a talk by Singer on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of its publications.

    • David Harper
      Posted May 22, 2017 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      Most people opposed to fox hunting take that stance because it involves the fox being chased by a pack of hounds and, if caught, being torn limb from limb whilst still alive.

      That’s why fox-hunting is often described as “the unspeakable in pursuit of the inedible”.

      • Peter
        Posted May 22, 2017 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

        Oh, so mistreating animals on the farm (pigs, chicken, cows, etc.) is okay then ? Glad, we got that cleared up.

        • Posted May 22, 2017 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

          That’s a non-sequitur and a little bit nasty. Mr Harper made no such claim and anyway it DOES NOT follow that if one objects to fox hunting but eats meat or dairy that they are ok with mistreating farm animals.

          • Peter
            Posted May 22, 2017 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

            Can you explain how eating animals or animal products is consistent with objecting to fox hunting and/or the ivory trade – not in principle but in practice, that is, in the world we are actually living in.*

            Even Richard Dawkins admits that he cannot defend his own omnivorous diet

            * See John McWilliams: The Modern Savage: Our Unthinking Decision to Eat Animals. Thomas Dunne Books, 2015

            • Posted May 22, 2017 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

              Sure. It’s an easy distinction to make, one that almost everyone is capable of.

              Farm animals are raised in order to be consumed in whole or in part. It’s the reason they exist at all. So long as they are kept and raised in humane conditions I can easily make the distinction between my eggs benedict and a wild fox being torn to shreds or an elephant’s face hacked off for its tusks. As it happens I eat little meat (don’t really like it) but I am perfectly ok with the ethical decisions I make regarding my diet.

              You still owe Mr Harper an apology.

              Oh. I don’t care a sod what other people think about this, so I’m not going to bother with your links.

              • Peter
                Posted May 22, 2017 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

                Mike, the problem with fox hunting and with the ivory trade is that it causes pain, suffering and death to animals for no good reason. The problem with eating animals or animal products like eggs and dairy is that it causes pain, suffering and death to animals for no good reason. We don’t need this to be healthy.

                So we are left with arguing: eating animals is natural (as is human cannibalism, making war against each other, slavery, etc.), we like the taste of it, it is convenient (i.e., changing ones diet takes effort since it requires thought instead of following routines) …
                The arguments that you give are unconvincing. The idea of humanly raised meat and eggs, etc. is, 95% of the time, a fiction created by those who sell this stuff (for the details see the book by James McWilliams cited in an earlier comment). That farm animals are raised to be consumed is not a convincing defense for being omnivorous. Imagine the Nazis had raised Jews in their concentration camps to harvest their organs. Would this have been okay? According to the logic of your argument, yes because without the Nazis these Jews would not have lived. I expect you to reply that humans are not animals, nd hence this analogy is false. But this would raise the question what then is it that justifies us to inflict pain, suffering and death to animals just because we find it convenient.

            • Jonathan Wallace
              Posted May 22, 2017 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

              Peter, you make out that there is some great philosophical conundrum here but there really isn’t.

              Objections to fox hunting are not essentially about the fact that foxes are killed but about the fact that it is a gratuitously barbaric way of doing so that is carried out for the amusement of the participants. I do not know exactly where foxes sit on the hierarchy of intelligence that seems so important to you but it seems reasonable to surmise that they find being chased down and then torn apart by a pack of dogs highly traumatic. Fox hunting is not carried out for the purposes of controlling a pest (hunts have traditionally managed woodland to ensure there would be enough foxes to hunt!). Where foxes are a pest (which is much less than is made out in the modern countryside) then there are much more humane methods of killing them if it is deemed necessary.

              Objections to killing elephants for ivory are primarily about conservation – illegal hunting is driving the African elephant rapidly towards extinction. Many people, myself included, consider the world to be a poorer place every time a species goes extinct. This is especially so for a specie of the ecological and cultural importance of the elephant. This loss is certainly not remotely justified by the demand in some places for ivory trinkets to show off how important and wealthy a person is.

              There are additionally, welfare objections to the hunting of elephants. As well as the suffering of the elephant that is killed (and there is evidence that they are not always killed instantaneously with a clean rifle shot)there is also the effect of the attrition on the surviving members of the herd including juveniles and infants. Elephants have complex social behaviour which is seriously disrupted when herd members are killed, traumatizing the remaining group members.

              The problems highlighted with respect to fox hunting and elephant poaching do not apply to the rearing of animals for human consumption. First, the purpose is not purely frivolous – we do need to eat (although I acknowledge that it is possible to eschew meat and still be healthy). Secondly, whilst welfare standards may vary and are undoubtedly unacceptable in some places, this is not invariably the case. Consumers have the option of selecting products raised under high welfare systems and furthermore farmers have an interest in maintaining decent welfare standards to avoid their livestock losing condition (and hence the farmer losing profit).

              I accept that for some people the killing of an animal for food can never be justified but for those of us who do still eat meat there is no logical inconsistency with also being opposed to either the ivory trade or fox hunting. In practical terms (which is what you asked for) there are clear differences between the three activities with respect to the impacts on the animals concerned.

              • Peter
                Posted May 22, 2017 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

                Jonathan, you have mentioned 3 different types of animals in your comment, and you have given different arguments for their differential treatments by humans. I suppose that hunting foxes to use their fur for coats is okay with you. Sure, we don’t need their fur to keep ourselves warm like we don’t need to eat animals or animal products to nourish ourselves in a healthy manner. I think we should not exploit any sentient being commercially (for food, entertainment, clothing, etc.). Inflicting pain and death on sentient beings is wrong, no matter what species of sentient being we are talking about. Why not kill newborn human babies (or severely mentally retarded humans)? After all, they don’t have (or may not have) the intelligence of an adult pig. The idea of humanly raised meat and animal products is mostly a fiction that was created by the producers of these niche products to soothe the conscience of their customers. The reality on these “humane” farm is very different. See on this James McWilliams’ book, “Modern Savage”, 2015. Take for instance, the case of milk and cheese from “humane” farms. It can only be produced by forcibly separating the mother cow from her calf (so that humans instead of the calf can drink the milk). Can you imagine the anguish that this causes to the mother cow? The mother-child bond is very strong, forged by evolution since the survival of the relevant mammalian species depends on. And this is done so that we can drink meat and eat cheese, neither of which we need to be healthy. So, in the end, we are mistreating animals because we like the taste of the products of the mistreatment and because we can. A famous 20th century politician once summarized his philosophy by saying “He who does not possess power loses the right to life.” That’s a good summary of the view that serves as defense for fox hunting, the ivory trade and 99% of animal agriculture.
                Your argument that “farmers have an interest in maintaining decent welfare standards to avoid their livestock losing condition (and hence the farmer losing profit)” is simply wrong empirically. It would only take a modest amount of research on the internet to see this.

              • Posted May 22, 2017 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

                You lost the argument already. Appealing to Nazi treatment of Jews is Godwin’s Law violation. You lose. Now it’s killing newborns is the same as pigs. You lose again since you have no arguments except your emotional appeals. When you have cogent arguments, you might be taken seriously.

              • Jonathan Wallace
                Posted May 23, 2017 at 2:07 am | Permalink

                “I suppose that hunting foxes to use their fur for coats is okay with you.”

                Peter – I did you the courtesy of not ascribing to you any view that you have not expressed yourself. Please do the same for me. There is nothing in my post that indicates one way or the other what my views on hunting animals for fur are.

        • David Coxill
          Posted May 23, 2017 at 9:03 am | Permalink

          I eat meat ,i don’t want the animal to be chased round the slaughter house for a couple of hours until it is killed .

          • Peter
            Posted May 23, 2017 at 9:33 am | Permalink

            David, I suppose most people will agree you on this and for that reason oppose fox hunting because it involves gratuitous violence (imposed on the animals so that we may be entertained). My question is whether one’s like of the taste of animal flesh or eggs or dairy products is sufficiently different a reason to serve as a justification for killing animals. After all, for us to be healthy, we don’t need to eat animals or animal products. In the end, omnivores are responsible for the mistreatment and for the killing of animals for no better reasons than taste,convenience, and tradition. And I’m asking whether these reasons are any better than causing mistreatment and death to animals so that one may be entertained? I agree that having the fox torn to shreds by hunting dogs is an especially gruesome death. However, modern animal agriculture is no walk in the park for the animals either: it is based on systematic mistreatment of animals (since that reduces production costs). All experts (except industry shills) agree on this. Of course, what happens on the farm to the animals is well hidden from the consumers so that they may believe arguments like for instance Jonathan gave to the effect that animal agriculture is maximally profitable when the animals are not mistreated. This is just ignorance talking. (And I’m not saying that Jonathan lacks intelligence, but instead that he is not well-informed on that particular issue, like on the issue of supposedly humanely raised meat/dairy/eggs.) In my opinion fox hunting is only marginally more objectionable than standard animal agriculture. Both practices involve mistreating and killing animals for no good reason (entertainment, taste, convenience, tradition).

            • Peter
              Posted May 23, 2017 at 10:14 am | Permalink

              Richard Dawkins in a recent interview with The Times (of London), May 13 2017:

              The judgment that Dawkins fears, as he recovers from a minor stroke, is that of history. Will the 21st century’s “speciesism” one day be viewed in the same way we view the 20th century’s racism? The world’s most famous evolutionary biologist thinks so.

              “We put humanity on a pedestal miles higher than the surrounding territory. A human foetus that has approximately the anatomy and brainpower of a worm is accorded more status than an adult chimpanzee,” he said. And chimpanzees have more rights than, say, cows. “When I pass one of those lorries with little slats and see fearful eyes peering out, I think of the railway wagons to Auschwitz.”

              Notice that our treatment of farm animals reminds Dawkins of what the Nazis did to the Jews. Perhaps Dawkins read Charles Patterson’s book the “Eternal Treblinka” (1982):
              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Patterson_(author)#Eternal_Treblinka
              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_rights_and_the_Holocaust

  10. Curt Nelson
    Posted May 22, 2017 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    A trigger warning on the dead elephant would not be unappreciated. It would be appreciated.

    I can no longer stand photos of Trump or killed animals like this.

  11. Posted May 22, 2017 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    It’s like she’s got a demon on her shoulder and every time she proposes something sensible like a cap on domestic fuel costs (a policy denounced as Marxist when Labour proposed it) this demon tells her to sacrifice an animal.

  12. Tom
    Posted May 22, 2017 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    I am trying to imagine a horde of antique dealers besieging number 10.
    I am also trying to imagine the public compelling these same dealers to include the above photograph in their advertisements.

    • Posted May 22, 2017 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      Reminds me of when anti-fur campaigners asked people wearing fur coats how they got the blood off. Maybe, “Who killed the elephant?”

  13. Nell Whiteside
    Posted May 22, 2017 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    We humans – from the sublime like Mozart, Darwin, . . to the utterly obnoxious like Hitler, Trump and anyone who would do something like this to an elephant. Yech.

    Would that natural selection were able to select out the lowlife on the human spectrum!

    • David Coxill
      Posted May 23, 2017 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      Just to point out Hitler was a veggie ,and my fellow Shropshire lad Darwin ,used to kill the Pigeons he had bred so he could study their skeletons .

  14. Posted May 22, 2017 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Disgusting & pathetic. Another good reason to vote Green.

  15. Dave
    Posted May 22, 2017 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    I’m opposed to foxhunting and I would like to see the ivory trade outlawed. I’m therefore disappointed that Theresa May isn’t taking these positions. However I will still be voting for her in June and hoping that the Conservatives win a big majority. The only alternative government is a party now dominated by far-left entryists, led by a lifelong apologist for Irish republican terrorism, a man who couldn’t bring himself to agree that the police should be able to shoot to kill in the event of a Bataclan-style attack, who would leave the UK defenceless, and whose economic policies would utterly bankrupt the country. I dare say his views on foxhunting and the ivory trade are closer to mine than to Theresa May’s, but compared to all the rest it’s irrelevant.

    • Richard Jones
      Posted May 22, 2017 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

      Brexit will probably destroy the economy anyway so you might as well vote Labour.

    • reasonshark
      Posted May 23, 2017 at 7:56 am | Permalink

      Source?

  16. jimroberts
    Posted May 22, 2017 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    May is odious. If only there were a credible alternative!

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted May 22, 2017 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

      And that’s exactly the problem. May can currently do pretty much whatever she wants because of that unelectable idiot Labour has for a leader. He bears a big part of the responsibility for Brexit too imo, and not just because he didn’t speak against it properly. People desperately want to vote against the Conservatives but can’t because there’s no credible alternative, so they voted for Brexit instead.

    • reasonshark
      Posted May 23, 2017 at 8:03 am | Permalink

      Practically anyone else, I should’ve thought.

  17. Charles Sawicki
    Posted May 22, 2017 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    Let’s not forget the connection to Christianity, which gives man dominion over the Earth (as well as unbelievers)! Destroying life on earth for profit seems to be the modus operandi of most conservative Christians. Ann Coulter is the canonical example.
    Ann Coulter at a Townhall, 9/15/2000:
    “The ethic of conservation is the explicit abnegation of man’s dominion over the Earth. The lower species are here for our use. God said so: Go forth, be fruitful, multiply, and rape the planet — it’s yours. That’s our job: drilling, mining and stripping. … Big gas-guzzling cars with phones and CD players and wet bars — that’s the Biblical view.”

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted May 22, 2017 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

      Said by an atheist, that would come over as extreme sarcasm. Not one word would need to be changed.

      Did Coulter really say that without a hint of irony? Can any sentient being be that thick?

      cr

  18. Heather Hastie
    Posted May 22, 2017 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    If you don’t care about the elephants, there’s another major reason to oppose the ivory trade, and is the reason many currently oppose it. Terrorism.

    In Africa, elephant poaching is where extremist fighters, both Muslim (e.g. Al-Shabaab) and Christian (e.g. LRA), get their funding. That is why there’s been such a huge increase in recent years. They are earning tens of millions from the trade.

  19. David Duncan
    Posted May 22, 2017 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    The elephant’s revenge:

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-39996592

  20. Posted May 22, 2017 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    I have seen a report where the poachers are being shot on sight. The killing is not just of elephants.
    More needs to be done to find alternatives like conservation tourism to lead poachers into new livelihoods. A ban and policing it is a good start but it is at the source where governments need to be doing the heavy lifting.
    Educating the poachers’ young that they are killing the very resource that could give them a better and rewarding life.
    This realisation would immediately set them on a path of working with elephants not eliminating them.

  21. nicky
    Posted May 22, 2017 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    The only serious argument against a ban on ivory trading is that it will/might increase illegal trading, creating or empowering another ‘mafia’.
    Note, I’m still in favour of the ban, since it probably is a ‘winnable war’, with few casualties.
    And yes, the more I learn about May (well, I did like her shoes -does that need a ‘/s’?), the more odious she appears. Her ‘hard Brexit’ stance in the first place. As pointed out by others, the alternative is about equally repugnant. Still, if I were a Brit, I would pinch my nose and vote against her.

  22. Posted May 22, 2017 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    The ivory trade is a cruel, barbaric, selfish blight upon the elephant. It needs to stop yesterday.

  23. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted May 22, 2017 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    I’m in favour of an ivory ban too, but the issue isn’t simply over elephant ivory. and that is what makes it very difficult to construct laws or regulations that adequately cover both “historical ivory” (someone up-thread mentioned pieces of historical musical instruments ; somewhere in Dad’s house is an ivory letter opener that has been in the family for at least 4 generations ; there are also ivory pieces in his collection of Victorian scientific instruments) and there’s modern ivory too.
    I forget if it was here or somewhere else that I recently saw someone mentioning that Maoris were still in the habit of making objects for sale to the tourist market from the teeth of beached whales (Inuit too have “cultural” whale and walrus hunts). That’s ivory too – and it’s going to be damned difficult for the customs officer “at the coal-face” to distinguish sperm-whale ivory from elephant ivory. Until you get to the whole-tusk size. Hell, I use microscopes in my working life, and it’d take me days to learn how to do it with any confidence.
    In an ideal world, the simple solution would be an utter ban on the trade in raw or processed ivory. But this isn’t an ideal world, it’s a complex one. And not everyone trying to sell such things is actually a baby-eating elephant face-carver. Some are, but not everyone.

    • nicky
      Posted May 23, 2017 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      A moot point indeed, and you did not even mention hippo-ivory.
      PCR might easily reveal the origin of the ivory (there should still be DNA in it), but not every border controller or law enforcement agent has a PCR pocket set in his or her back pocket.
      I agree it is a complex problem.
      The best -or least bad- option would be a total ban with exceptions, the details of which to be provided by the dealer, IMMO.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted May 23, 2017 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

        “Details provided by dealer” … that’ll be a boost to photocopy shops across Africa. I can’t speak to Asia since I’ve only worked there once. Unless capybara ivory is a thing, I don’t see much of a problem from South America.

  24. rickflick
    Posted May 23, 2017 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    File this under “it would be nice if…”
    It would be nice if there came into existence an artificial ivory indistinguishable from the real thing with which to flood the market and deprive cretins of the economic osmotic pressure to kill mammals.

  25. Posted May 24, 2017 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Not again!

    And I am both pleased and horrified to see that you included a picture, Jerry.

  26. Posted June 4, 2017 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Reblogged this on The Logical Place.


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