On 3 October 2015, the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos took place in London and 130 other cities around the world.

    The main focus of the London march this year was to urge the government to take action to help save African elephants. At the end of the march, representatives from Action for Elephants UK, Born Free, David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, and IFAW delivered a letter to Downing St to urge David Cameron to fulfill his manifesto pledge to “press for a total ban on ivory sales”.

    We hope that the large turnout for the march, along with the letter signed by over 100 NGOs, leading conservationists, MPs, and celebrities, will show Cameron the strength of public feeling about the issue. The Conservative Party made the same pledge to ban ivory in its 2010 manifesto – but failed to take action. In the 5 years since then, over 170,000 elephants have been brutally slaughtered for their ivory. David Cameron cannot afford to dither any longer in the face of this horrific crisis – he must act now to end all UK involvement in the ivory trade.

    This is the letter and list of signatories:

     

    6 October 2015

    Dear Prime Minister,

    Our group Action for Elephants UK and the undersigned are writing to appeal to you to ban all trade in ivory in the UK, as promised in the Conservative Party’s election manifesto in 2010 and reiterated in its 2015 manifesto.

    Action for Elephants UK is a grass-roots advocacy group dedicated to raising awareness and taking action on behalf of elephants both in the wild and captivity. In particular, we are working to end the elephant poaching crisis and ivory trade. Our group has grown rapidly since it was founded in 2013, reflecting the increasing public concern for the ongoing poaching crisis that is decimating elephants in the wild.

    It is estimated that upwards of 35,000 elephants continue to be slaughtered for their ivory every year. At this rate of poaching, the two species of African elephants (savannah and forest) could disappear from the wild within a generation. The window of opportunity for saving them is rapidly shrinking. As you are aware, the most significant way that elephants can be saved from extinction is by ending consumer demand for ivory and closing down domestic ivory markets, everywhere.

    At present a legal ivory trade exists in the UK. Within the EU, the UK is one of the largest markets for ivory; the UK sells significant amounts of ivory on online marketplaces. Any legal trade enables and encourages illegal trade in ivory, while continuing to perpetuate the cycle of supply and demand.

    Further, it makes it more difficult to urge China to adopt an ivory ban if the UK and other western countries have failed to do the same.

    In the 5 years since the Conservative Party committed to ending ivory trade in 2010, elephant numbers have crashed in what has become the worst poaching crisis ever. Between 2010 and 2012 over 100,000 elephants were brutally slaughtered for their ivory. Tanzania alone has lost 60% of its elephant population, and Mozambique around half. The trade is fuelled by organized criminal syndicates and widespread corruption, and terrorist groups are also involved in, and partly funded by, poaching and trafficking.

    In 2014, the US government announced federal initiatives to ban ivory, and in July 2015 President Obama proposed new regulations that would virtually eliminate all ivory trade in the US. In February 2015, China imposed a 1-year ban on the import of carved ivory, and in May announced it would ‘take measures to strictly control its ivory trade until eventually halting commercial processing and the sale of ivory and its products’.  Last month President Obama and Xi Jinping agreed to enact ‘nearly complete bans on ivory imports and exports’ and to ‘take steps to halt the domestic commercial trade of ivory’.

    Now is the time for the UK to join the global momentum and for the government to turn its promise to ban all ivory trade into long overdue action.

    Prime Minister, on behalf of all concerned citizens in the UK, we respectfully appeal to you to honour your pledge and commit the UK to ending all domestic trade in ivory once and for all.

    We thank you for your attention and consideration.

    Yours sincerely,

    Maria Mossman

    Action for Elephants UK

     

    And we, the undersigned:

    Rosemary Alles

    Co-founder, March for Elephants CA

     

    Damian Aspinall

    Chairman, The Aspinall Foundation

     

    Mike Baker

    Chief Executive, World Animal Protection

     

    Claire Bass

    Executive Director, Humane Society International UK (HSI UK)

     

    Sport Beattie

    Game Rangers International

     

    Sarah Blaine

    CEO and Founder of Mahouts Elephant Foundation

     

    Scott Blais

    Co-founder, Global Sanctuary for Elephants

     

    Richard Bonham

    Co-founder & Director, Big Life Foundation

     

    Rob Brandford

    Director David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust iworry Campaign

    and

    Dame Daphne Sheldrick D.B.E

    Chairman David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

     

    Carol Buckley

    Founder, Elephant Aid International

     

    Reute Butler

    President, Friends of Conservation US

    and

    Jorie Butler Kent

    Founder and Chairman, Friends of Conservation

    and

    Amanda Bleasby
    Operations Director, Friends of Conservation UK

     

    Julie Callahan

    March for Elephants, Santa Cruz, CA

     

    Nicky Campbell

    TV and radio presenter

     

    Salisha Chandra

    Founding member, Kenyans United Against Poaching – KUAPO Trust

     

    Stefano & Liz Cheli

    CEOs, Cheli & Peacock Safaris and the C&P Community Trust

     

    Katherine Connor
    Founder and CEO, Boon Lotts Elephant Sanctuary

     

    Ian Craig

    Director of Conservation, The Northern Rangelands Trust

     

    Brian Davies

    Network for Animals

     

    Arend de Haas
    Co-founder & Director, African Conservation Foundation

     

    Iain Douglas-Hamilton OBE

    Founder and CEO, Save the Elephants

     

    Lee Durrell

    Honorary Director, Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust

     

    Dr Keith Dutlow

    Trustee and Director, AWARE Trust Zimbabwe

     

    Dominic Dyer

    CEO Badger Trust & Policy Advisor Born Free Foundation

     

    Dr Kate Evans

    Founder & Director, Elephants for Africa

     

    Peter Fearnhead

    CEO, African Parks

     

    Sudarshani Fernando

    Co-founder & Facilitator, Sentinels Against Wildlife Crime (SAWC)

     

    Ricky Gervais

    Writer and producer

     

    Core organizers

    Global March for Elephants and Rhinos

     

    Jane Goodall PhD DBE

    Founder the Jane Goodall Institute & UN Messenger of Peace

     

    Max Graham

    Founder & CEO, Space for Giants

     

    Raabia Hawa
    Executive Director, Ulinzi Africa Foundation& Founder of Walk With Rangers Initiative

     

    Stephanie Hilbourne OBE

    Chief Executive, The Wildlife Trusts

     

    Liz Hosken

    Director, The Gaia Foundation

     

    Sujeewa Jasinghe

    Co-founder & Director, Centre for Eco-cultural Studies (CES)

     

    Stanley Johnson

    Author and conservationist

     

    Dr Trevor Jones

    Southern Tanzania Elephant Project

     

    Paula Kahumbu, O.G.W
    Chief Executive Officer, Wildlife Direct

     

    Max and Josh Kauderer

    Founders, Elephant Highway

     

    Alan Knight OBE

    CEO, International Animal Rescue

     

    Peter Knights
    Executive Director, WildAid

     

    Hussein Lalani

    Ex-CEO, 99p

     

    James Littlewood

    Director, Natural History Society of Northumbria

     

    Joanna Lumley OBE

     

    Philip Mansbridge

    Director, UK – International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)

     

    Struan McDougall
    Founder and trustee, The CCG Trust

     

    Virginia McKenna OBE Hon Dr Science

    Founder, Born Free Foundation

    and

    Will Travers

    President, Born Free Foundation

     

    Kate Moore

    Programmes Manager, Lilongwe Wildlife Trust

     

    Dr. Ciaran Mundy and Dominic Neate

    Trustees, One World Wildlife

     

    Ingrid E Newkirk

    Founder, PETA

     

    Graeme Oliver

    Director, Poached Rhino

    Asgar Pathan

    Executive Director, Care for the Wild Kenya

     

    Dr. Mark Pilgrim

    Director General, Chester Zoo, former chair UK Elephant Welfare Group

     

     

    Ian Redmond

    Independent wildlife biologist, Founder of the African Ele-Fund and Ambassador for the UNEP Convention on Migratory Species

     

    Mary Rice

    Executive Director, Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA)

     

    Jo Roberts

    CEO, The Wilderness Foundation

     

    John Roberts

    Director of Elephants, Golden Triangle Elephant Foundation

     

    Jen Samuel
    President, Elephants DC

     

    Noor Santosian

    Founder, Africa Nomads Conservation

     

    John Sauven

    Executive Director, Greenpeace UK

     

    David Shepherd CBE

    Founder and President of the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation

     

    The Rt Revd Dr Alan Smith

    Bishop of St Albans

     

    Craig Spencer

    Founder and Executive Director, Black Mamba APU, Head Warden, Balule Nature Reserve

     

    Patsy Stagman

    Rhino Conservation Dubai

     

    Ian Stevenson

    CEO Conservation Lower Zambezi

    Yvette Taylor

    International Executive Director, Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization

     

    Janet Thomas

    Founder and Chairperson, Animal Aid Abroad Inc.

     

    Jaime Unwin and Hannah Pollock

    Co-Founders, Stand up for Nature

     

    Stéphanie Vergniault

    Chairman, SOS Elephants

     

    Rory Young

    Co-Founder, Chengeta Wildlife

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Members of UK Parliament:

     

    Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh

    MP, Ochil and South Perthshire

     

    David Anderson

    MP, Blaydon

     

    Clive Betts

    MP, Sheffield South East

     

    Alan Brown
    MP, Kilmarnock and Loudoun

     

    Nick Brown

    MP, Newcastle upon Tyne East

     

    Fiona Bruce

    MP, Congleton

     

    Lisa Cameron

    MP, East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow

     

    Alan Campbell

    MP, Tynemouth

     

    Alistair Carmichael

    MP, Orkney and Shetland

     

    Maria Caulfield

    MP, Lewes

     

    Mark Durkan

    MP, Derry

     

    Vicky Foxcroft

    MP, Lewisham Deptford

     

    Roger Godsiff

    MP, Birmingham Hall Green

     

    Zac Goldsmith

    MP, Richmond Park

     

    Helen Goodman

    MP, Bishop Auckland

     

    George Kerevan

    MP, East Lothian

     

    Chris Law

    MP, Dundee West

     

    Caroline Lucas

    MP, Brighton Pavilion

     

     

    Justin Madders

    MP, Ellesmere Port and Neston

     

    John Mann
    MP, Bassetlaw

     

    John McDonnell

    MP, Hayes and Harlington

     

    Grahame Morris

    MP, Easington

     

    Kate Osamor

    MP, Edmonton

     

    Andrew Rosindell

    MP, Romford

     

    Cat Smith

    MP, Lancaster and Fleetwood

     

    Jeff Smith

    MP, Manchester Withington

     

    John Spellar

    MP, Warley

     

     

    Members of the House of Lords: 

     

    Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb

     

    Lord and Lady Judd

     

    Baroness (Ruth) Lister of Burtersett

     

    Lord Stoddart of Swindon

     

    Baroness Young of Old Scone

     

     

    Members of the European Parliament:

     

    Catherine Bearder

    MEP, South East England

     

    Dominique Bilde

    MEP, France

     

    Richard Corbitt

    MEP, Yorkshire and The Humber

     

    Seb Dance

    MEP, London

     

     

    Anneliese Dodds

    MEP, South East of England

     

    Stefan Eck

    MEP, Germany

     

    Bas Eickhout

    MEP, The Netherlands

     

     

    Neena Gill

    MEP, West Midlands

     

    Julie Girling

    MEP, South West England

     

    Jeppe Kofod

    MEP, Denmark

     

    Jean Lambert

    MEP, London

     

    David Martin

    MEP, The Lothians

     

    Marlene Mizzi

    MEP, Malta

     

    Pavel Poc

    MEP, Czech Republic

     

    Michèle Rivasi

    MEP, France

     

    Molly Scott Cato

    MEP, South West of England

     

    Bart Staes

    MEP, Belgium

     

    Keith Taylor

    MEP, South East Region

     

    Claude Turmes

    MEP, Luxembourg

     

    Ernest Urtasun

    MEP, Spain

     

    Ivo Vajgl

    MEP, Slovenia

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