International Fund for Animal Welfare – 2014-04-30 11:27:22
(April 29, 2014) — Every 15 minutes, on average, a poacher kills an elephant for its ivory tusks. Right now, the US is the second biggest market for ivory — much of it likely from recently poached elephants — which means we are helping to pay the bills for these poachers, organized crime networks, militant groups and the others who are profiting from extinction.
Fortunately, the US Fish & Wildlife Service recently proposed strong new protections for African elephants, including a ban on the sale of non-antique ivory in the United States.
Some special interest groups are trying to weaken the new rules, which has prompted IFAW to band together with a coalition of scientists, artists, and conservation and animal welfare organizations to ensure that these protections stay as robust as possible. By signing our petition, your voice can help us convince the White House to stand strong for elephants.
ACTION: You can help protect elephants by joining us in telling President Obama and Dan Ashe, Director of the US Fish & Wildlife Service to stand strong for elephants.
Dear President Obama and Director Ashe,
I commend the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Obama Administration for your firm commitment to end the devastating slaughter of elephants for their ivory and to ensure that the United States is not helping to drive illegal wildlife trade.
Along with 80 percent of my fellow American citizens, I strongly support ending commercial trade in elephant ivory in the US I believe we must take all necessary steps to protect these magnificent creatures from extinction.
Fewer than half a million elephants remain in Africa’s savannas and jungles — a 95 percent plunge over the last century. Recently, the killing has surged: Poachers are slaughtering one elephant every 15 minutes, on average, and some populations are now on a path to extinction.
Reports from US intelligence agencies and the United Nations also show that profits from ivory trafficking are fueling crime, corruption and violence in fragile African democracies and financing organizations that threaten both American and Africa security.
America’s role in the consumption and sale of ivory makes us complicit in this crisis and weakens our moral authority to lead internationally. The US is the world’s second largest market for wildlife products, and significant amounts of illegal elephant ivory have been found entering the American market. We must strengthen our laws to prevent this from happening and to encourage other countries to act with similar urgency.
I thank you and others in the Administration, for your unprecedented leadership on this issue. Combined with new US efforts to combat wildlife trafficking, the ivory rules proposed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service can help turn the tide for Africa’s elephants.
I share the American public’s desire to end the US role in the ivory trade, and I believe that the decision to halt elephant ivory commerce in the US is the right response to the current crisis.
For the sake of the world’s elephants, I urge you to keep that promise.