Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Market for elephant ivory

The Times of London reports on a government sponsored sale of legal elephant ivory (I presume taken from elephants that died a natural death):
Ivory from 10,000 elephants on sale amid fears of new slaughter

"Wildlife groups and other African nations fear that the controversial sell-off could breathe life back into the ivory trade, banned in 1989, and trigger a resurgence of the poaching that devastated Africa’s elephant populations in the 1970s and 1980s.
Julian Newman, campaigns director with the Environmental Investigation Agency, said that the move could once again open the floodgates to poaching, which reduced Africa’s total elephant population from five million in the 1930s to about 600,000 today. “This [auction], coupled with a lack of sufficient checks in importing countries such as China and instability in some African range states, could easily drag us back to the dark and bloody days of the 1980s when we were seeing around 200 elephants killed by poachers each week.” Conservationists argue that a lack of proper oversight will allow poachers to mix illegal and legal ivory and slip it past regulators, many of them corrupt. "

No comments: