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Stop elephant poachers running riot

Partial gestures and hollow threats will do nothing to suffocate the global ivory trade, Catherine Bearder MEP has warned.

key_elephant.jpgCountries fuelling the ivory business have been told to reduce their involvement or face trade sanctions.

The decision was made at the Cites conference in Bangkok yesterday (Thursday, March 14) and was supposed to send out a stern warning to countries, such as China and Thailand.

But Catherine does not believe delegates went far enough and insisted there is still not enough being done to protect elephants.

She said: "There is no time for partial gestures and hollow threats, elephants are being massacred in huge numbers.

"Poachers are running riot through Africa's game reserves because ivory trinkets are snapped up in the Far East.

"Another wagging finger will pressure nobody into taking action."

Catherine wrote to the President of the Republic of Cameroon last year offering EU help to stop poachers slaughtering hundreds of elephants in the country's national parks.

In November, she also put forward a declaration aimed at ending elephant poaching at the joint EU / ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific) parliamentary assembly in Surinam.

Meanwhile, figures have also shown 17,000 elephants were killed by poachers in 2011, and it is now thought an elephant is killed every 15 minutes.

The conference discussed measures to tackle poaching and setting targets for reducing the trade in ivory.

Catherine added: "Our biodiversity must not play second fiddle to a barbaric industry."

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