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


    Dame Daphne Sheldrick D.B.E

    Chairman David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust


    Carol Buckley

    Founder, Elephant Aid International


    Reute Butler

    President, Friends of Conservation US


    Jorie Butler Kent

    Founder and Chairman, Friends of Conservation


    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


    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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