Born Free Calls on UK Government to Implement Ivory Trade Ban Without Delay
UK ivory ban must inspire further international measures, take the commerce out of the ivory trade and pay attention to the plight of other ivory-bearing endangered species
Horsham, England -- March 4, 2018 -- Born Free today welcomes the long-awaited announcement of a ban on the commercial trade in elephant ivory within, to and from the United Kingdom. However, Born Free is seeking greater clarity about the appointment of a special regulator who will manage the accreditation of exempt items.
Born Free's co-founder and President, Will Travers OBE, said: "We applaud the government for its recognition of the need for the U.K., which has been the largest exporter of ‘legal’ ivory items in recent years, to take action on commercial ivory trade. African elephant range states, the international conservation community, and the British public, have all been calling for a comprehensive ban as the only way to help end the poaching epidemic which threatens the very future of wild elephants. We implore Parliament to pass the proposed measures into law without delay.”
Born Free believes the proposed online ivory registration process establishes, importantly, that the burden of proof now resides with the applicant. Furthermore, the range of penalties and fines for those who offend should have a suitably deterrent effect.
According to the government, the provenance of items exempted due to their rarity or cultural/historical importance, will be determined by independent advisors who will be accountable for their decisions.
Travers said: “In practice, it will be essential that anyone who seeks to trade ivory or facilitate the trade in ivory – including those who are responsible for its certification – must be held to account. Only a robust and highly precautionary approach will prevent these exemptions becoming loopholes that traffickers can exploit.”
Exempt items will include:
- Items made before 1947 containing less than 10 percent of ivory by volume
- Musical instruments containing less than 20 percent of ivory made before 1975
- The “rarest and most important items” that are more than 100 years old, including portrait miniatures
- Items traded between accredited museums.
Africa's elephant numbers have plummeted from perhaps 5 million a century ago, to less than half a million today, and upwards of 20,000 continue to be killed across the continent by poachers each year to supply criminal networks with ivory. Asian elephants, where only the males carry ivory and which number below 30,000, are also targeted for their tusks.
The U.K. has, in recent years, been the world's biggest exporter of legal ivory, largely in the form of antique worked items which have been in big demand among Asian buyers. This trade stimulates demand for ivory products and provides traffickers with a means by which they can launder new ivory from recently slaughtered elephants into trade.
Travers concluded: “Ending legal commercial trade in all ivory products is vital if we are to provide hope for beleaguered elephant populations. We need all countries that continue to operate legal markets and act as sources of ivory in international trade to step up and introduce similar measures to those announced here in the U.K. and, in particular, we urge the European Commission to announce far tougher restrictions on trade within, between and from EU countries without delay.
“We must also take into account the impact that closing elephant ivory trade and markets could have on other ivory-bearing species. For example, indications are that trade in poached hippo ivory is on the rise and official data confirms that since 2006 more than 50,000 kilograms of hippo ivory was released into trade – this from a species that may number as few as 130,000 individuals. Tackling the trade in ivory from other threatened species, such as hippos, narwhals and walruses, needs to be part of our immediate plan.”
Born Free has been campaigning for a global ban on commercial trade in all ivory products since 1989. The charity's advocacy, awareness-raising and public mobilization efforts have played a major part in informing recent decisions and persuading the UK government to take action. Born Free will continue with these efforts until the poaching of elephants and other ivory-bearing species has been brought to an end, and their future secured.
Talkin' Pets News
August 19, 2017
Host - Jon Patch
Co-Host - Jillyn Sidlo - Celestrial Custom Dog Services
Producer - Lexi Lapp
Network Producer - Quin McCarthy
Executive Producer - Bob Page
Special Guests - Author Shawn Flynn, will join Jon and Talkin' Pets 8/19/2017 at 5pm EST to discuss and give away his book "The Kitty Who Rescued Me After I Rescued Him
"Tamilee Webb, Buns of Steel, will join Jon and Talkin' Pets 8/19/2017 at 630pm EST to discuss and give away shirts and towels from Arctic Cool
New York, NY, USA, August 3, 2017—Today, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and a coalition of other wildlife conservation organizations partnered with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to crush nearly two tons of illegal elephant ivory confiscated through state enforcement efforts.
The ivory tusks, trinkets, statues, jewelry and other decorative items, representative of approximately 100 elephants being killed, were crushed in Central Park while the public gathered to watch, sending a clear message that the state will not tolerate wildlife crime that threatens to wipe out Africa’s dwindling elephant population.
"The State of New York is showing today that they are standing by their commitment to save elephants,” said Jeff Flocken, International Fund for Animal Welfare, North American Regional Director said. “The killing won't stop until the demand for ivory ends, and today's crush sends a statement that New York and all the partners gathered here are working to make the end of ivory markets a reality. Ivory belongs on elephants. Period."
New York was the first, of now seven, states to pass state legislation ending the sale of ivory. Since state legislation was passed, NYDEC enforcement efforts have led to a dramatic reduction in illegal ivory sales – going from being the leading US ivory market to the third.
"These actions make it clear that in New York, we condemn the depraved, violent and illegal industry that is ivory sales," Governor Cuomo said."The ivory crush along with our vigilant enforcement efforts take us one step closer to ending this senseless slaughtering of animals - I urge other leaders across the nation and across the globe to join us is working to protect these magnificent threatened species for generations to come."
It is also clear that an overwhelming majority of Americans feel the same way in opposing ivory sales. Recent polling by IFAW found that nearly 80% of Americans support prohibiting ivory sales in the U.S.
The crush comes as federal and state initiatives are underway to curtail the ivory and other wildlife trade in the U.S. IFAW has played a critical role in passing bans in the top three states for illegal wildlife trade – New York, California and Hawaii – in addition to New Jersey, Washington, Oregon and Nevada and continues to forge ahead fighting for stronger protections for wildlife everywhere.
About IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare)
Founded in 1969, IFAW rescues and protects animals around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org. Follow us on social @action4ifaw and Facebook/IFAW.
Review written by Jon Patch with 4 out of 4 paws
King Arthur: The Legend of the Sword
Warner Bros. Pictures, Safehouse Pictures, RatPac Entertainment, Weed Road Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures present a PG-13, 126 minute, Action, Adventure, Drama directed by Guy Ritchie, written by Ritchie and Joby Harold with a theater release date of May 12, 2017.
Ricky Gervais awarded for animal protection advocacy
Animal Defenders International (ADI)has presented multi-talented comedian Ricky Gervaiswith the prestigious Lord Houghton Award for his high-profile advocacy on animal protection issues, creating awareness in a unique wayto worldwide audiences.
ADI President Jan Creamer said: “Ricky Gervais is an outstanding and outspoken campaigner for animals who has raised animal protection issues with new and growing audiences. This award is in recognition of the longstanding and passionate role Ricky plays in giving animals a loud and powerful voice.”
On receiving the award, Ricky Gervais said: “I am honoured to receive the Lord Houghton Award for a cause so close to my heart. The suffering of animals absolutely sickens me and I will continue to speak out and support the sterling work of organisations like Animal Defenders International.”
Ricky is currently on tour with his ‘Humanity’ show, and has been a supporter of ADI for many years, being one of the first to champion their ‘Stop Circus Suffering’ campaign. While at XFM in the late 1990s, Ricky spoke out against the horrific abuse of elephants, a baby chimpanzee and others documented by ADI at animal trainer Mary Chipperfield Promotions, which resulted in cruelty convictions for the owners and their elephant keeper. Ricky has continued to be an outspoken advocate for the campaign, urging governments in both the UK and US to introduce legislation to prohibit travelling wild animal acts.
The shocking violence inflicted on Anne the elephant at Bobby Roberts Super Circus in 2011 and exposed by ADI “graphically displays why the government should ban wild animals in circuses” Ricky said, continuing “I am appalled that wild animals are still kept in circuses and fully support the call for a ban. It is high time that government got on and implemented one.”ADI’s evidence led to agovernment commitment to ban and a cruelty conviction for Anne’s owner – yet five years later, the government’s bill has still not been presented to Parliament.
The comedian, writer and producer, who has over 12 million twitter followers is an outspoken advocate on several animal issues including trophy hunting, blood sports and animal experiments.
Last year, supporting proposals to uplist the African lion to Appendix I (greatest protection) at the CITES conference in Johannesburg,Ricky said "The survival of the African lion hangs in the balance. We must stop blood-thirsty hunters from decimating our wildlife for a barbaric adrenaline rush or trophy piece to show off to their mates.” Sadly, fierce opposition from lion bone/body part traders fought off lion protection this time, but the campaign continues.
The Lord Houghton Award was initiated in 1980 as a lasting recognition of the significant contribution made by Lord Houghton to the animal welfare movement. During his long parliamentary career, he was a passionate animal welfare advocate, actively campaigning for changes in legislation to bring about improvements in animal welfare, even into his nineties.
Each year one of the four participating organizations – Animal Defenders International, OneKind, Cruelty Free International and League Against Cruel Sports – selects the recipient of the award.
In 2012 ADI presented the award to legendary multi-Emmy award winning TV host Bob Barker – an ardent public advocate for animals who, among other achievements, had ended each episode of his iconic show ‘The Price is Right’ with a plea to his audience to spay and neuter their pets.
This presentation of the 2016 Lord Houghton Award to Ricky was delayed for the completion of a record-breaking 18-month rescue mission in South America. ADI rescued over 100 wild animals from circuses and the illegal wildlife trade in a mission to assist the governments of Peru and Colombia with enforcement of their new laws ending the use of wild animals in circuses. Native wildlife such as bears, monkeys, birds and others were rehomed in Amazon sanctuaries, a tiger to a sanctuary in Florida and 33 Africa lions were rehomed to their native Africa.
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Animal Defenders International (ADI) has welcomed the announcement by Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus to close its animal shows from May, citing declines in ticket sales after earlier announcing a ‘mood shift’ among their consumers .After decades of exposing the cramped, barren conditions with long periods of time tied up and chained with no freedom of movement and a brutal training culture, ADI believes that public opinion has ended the suffering.
Modern audiences now have many entertainment options and do not want to see shows where animals are made to suffer for a few minutes of entertainment.
Jan Creamer, ADI President, said:“After decades of exposing the suffering of animals in circuses behind the scenes, we are pleased to hear that Ringlings has finally bowed to public opinion – it was a mistake for them not to see the trend away from animal shows to human-only performances over a decade ago. Circuses can survive without the animal performances.”
Studies of the use of wild animals in traveling circuses show that in the circumstances of a traveling show, circuses cannot meet the needs of wild animals. Animals are confined in small spaces, deprived of physical and social needs, spending excessive amounts of time tied or chained up, shut in transporters and unable to move around.The abnormal, stereotypical behaviors seen in circus animals, rocking, swaying and pacing, indicate that they are under stress and not coping with their environment. ADI’s video evidence has shown how these animals are forced to perform tricks through physical violence, fear and intimidation.
ADI has led the campaign to expose the suffering and educate the public around the world, providing video evidence, prosecutions and expert reviews. 34 nations have reviewed the evidence and taken action to end traveling circus performances. Across 27states in the US, 66jurisdictions have already decided to either ban or restrict the use of wild animals in traveling shows, due to concerns about public safety and animal welfare.
ADI is supporting RepresentativesRyan Costello (R-PA) andRaul Grijalva(D-AZ), who launched Traveling Exotic Animaland Public Safety ProtectionAct (TEAPSPA) in Congress last November. The congressmen have concluded that ending wild animal use is the only practical approach to deal withpublic safety issues and inspection and oversightproblems repeatedly cited by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG).
Review written by Jon Patch with 3 out of 4 paws
Universal Pictures, Illumination Entertainment and Hammer & Tongs present a PG, 108 minute, Animation, Drama, Comedy, directed by Garth Jennings and Christophe Loudelet, written by Jennings with a theater release date of December 21, 2016.
Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, September 24 - October 5, 2016
Washington, D.C., September 19, 2016 -- Born Free USA, a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, will urge delegates at the 17th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) to make precautionary decisions with respect to wildlife and international trade. Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, will be in attendance at the conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, September 24 - October 5, 2016.
The international wildlife trade is estimated to be worth billions of dollars annually and includes millions of animals who are traded as trophies, pets, medicine, and more. After habitat destruction, exploitation of wild specimens for trade is a main reason for the critical decline of global biodiversity. CITES is one of the most effective global instruments to counter the depletion of wildlife species for trade. CITES accords varying degrees of protection to more than 30,000 species of animals and plants that are threatened by overexploitation. With 183 Parties bound by the Convention, CITES is the largest conservation agreement in existence.
According to Roberts, “This meeting is the most important call to save wildlife. And, people are watching and waiting for outcomes. Armed militia and sophisticated organized crime networks are operating across continents to slaughter and trade wildlife for profit. Traffickers and other profiteers are watching closely to see what happens if the trades in elephant ivory and rhino horn are reopened. Any signal from CITES that there is profitability in this deadly trade will result in animal carcasses unceremoniously littering the African savannah and forests. CITES Parties must act with precaution to adopt sufficient measures to ensure that international trade will not lead to the extinction of species for future generations. The outcome of this conference can change everything.”
Born Free USA will be there to focus on a number of important issues, among them:
African Elephants: Africa’s elephants remain beleaguered by poaching for their ivory tusks, and some populations could disappear forever without significant action. Born Free USA will be supporting Kenya’s call to uplist all of Africa’s elephants back to Appendix I, thereby closing any chance for trade that is primarily commercial. Going back to the 1989 ban will dry up ivory markets and reduce elephant poaching. Similarly, the organization will work to defeat certain southern African countries that will be trying to facilitate international trade once again.
Rhinoceros: Swaziland is proposing limited trade in rhino horn, which could seriously threaten the continent’s remaining estimated 25,000 black and white rhinos. Born Free USA will urge Parties to reject Swaziland’s proposal as the trade in rhino horn, like elephant ivory, leads to poaching. Rhinoceros horns are highly sought after in Asia because of false local beliefs in their medicinal properties. According to Roberts, “A resumption of rhino horn trade would have a devastating impact on this species already poached close to extinction.”
African and Asian Pangolins: Born Free USA believes that all eight species of pangolins—four in Africa and four in Asia—should be on CITES Appendix I. Roberts explains, “Pangolins are the most heavily-traded mammal in the world and are at risk from trade in their scales as medicines—despite a complete lack of efficacy in medicinal use. Pangolins are disappearing fast and a ban must be secured on international commercial trade.”
African Lions: Having successfully petitioned for the addition of Africa’s lions to the list of endangered species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, at CITES, Born Free USA will be supporting the proposal submitted by Niger, along with many other lion range States, to uplist lions from Appendix II to Appendix I. “Lions are not only subjected to an international trade in trophies, but are also increasingly targeted by the international trade of their bones, which replace tiger bones in Asian folk remedies. This commercial trade is having an increasingly prejudicial impact on the species.” Read the proposal.
For more information about key issues Born Free USA will be involved with at CITES, visit www.bornfreeusa.org/cites. Born Free USA will be on Twitter and Facebook throughout the conference with live updates.
Born Free USA is a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, the organization leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic “pets,” trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to North America the message of “compassionate conservation”—the vision of the United Kingdom-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film Born Free, along with their son, Will Travers. Born Free USA’s mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally. More at www.bornfreeusa.org, www.twitter.com/bornfreeusa, and www.facebook.com/bornfreeusa.
California becomes second state to outlaw cruel weapon used to control elephants
Washington, D.C., August 30, 2016 -- Born Free USA, a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, commends California’s Governor Jerry Brown for signing S.B. 1062 yesterday to ban the use of bullhooks and other weapons designed to inflict pain for the purpose of training or controlling the behavior of an elephant. Introduced by Senator Ricardo Lara (D-33), the law will go into effect on January 1, 2018.
A bullhook is a long, thick pole with a sharp metal hook attached to the end, used to inflict pain as negative reinforcement. It is a common, yet highly notorious weapon in the elephant trainer’s arsenal. California is the second state in the nation to pass a prohibition on bullhooks, following Rhode Island’s precedent-setting law in July.
According to Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, “We are seeing a groundswell of public support across the country for ending the use of cruel bullhooks as the public becomes increasingly concerned about the welfare of performing animals—and legislators from coast to coast are responding. Bullhooks and other weapons used by trainers produce unimaginable suffering in elephants who are forced to submit to unnatural acts before an audience day after day, year after year. There is no justification for causing this type of physical and mental anguish.”
In addition, numerous elephant experts claim that sharp implements can do severe damage to elephants’ thick but highly sensitive skin. Trainers often embed the bullhook into the soft tissue behind the ears, inside the ear or mouth, under the trunk and chin, in the armpit area, on the back of the legs, in and around the anus, and in tender spots around the feet. The fear that the bullhook instills in elephants means they will, under duress, do everything possible to escape further blows. Its cruel power to implement negative reinforcement techniques explains why the bullhook has historically been a ubiquitous weapon for circus trainers. After that type of abuse, simply holding the bullhook near the elephant when in front of an audience is threatening enough to compel obedience.
“We thank Senator Lara for sponsoring this crucial legislation and applaud Governor Brown for making the compassionate choice to sign it into law,” says Roberts. “This is a momentous step forward in the fight to end brutality against performing animals, and I hope other states will follow California’s example without delay.”
Born Free USA is a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic "pets," trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to America the message of "compassionate conservation": the vision of the U.K.-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film Born Free, along with their son, Will Travers. Born Free's mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally. More at www.bornfreeusa.org, www.twitter.com/bornfreeusa, and www.facebook.com/bornfreeusa.