Category Archives: Animal Activism
Sometimes the word ivory feels a little too objective for me. Ivory is actually an elephant’s tusk which they use because it’s theirs to use. It’s essential to their survival. Tusks are used for defense, offense, digging, lifting objects, gathering food, and stripping bark to eat from trees. They also protect the sensitive trunk, which is tucked between them when the elephant charges. In times of drought, elephants dig water holes in dry riverbeds by using their tusks, feet, and trunk.
It’s unfortunate that somewhere down the line somebody figured out that these tusks can be harvested from an elephant by killing it, and that the “tusk” can be carved into trinkets, jewellery, piano keys, chopsticks etc…. But you have to kill the elephant to get the tusk. That’s just the way it works.
About 100 years ago there were approximately 10 million elephants in Africa. According to the Great Elephant Census of 2016 only 400,000 or thereabouts remain. With 30,000 or so being killed for their tusks per year they will be extinct in the wild within 10 years. The UK, France, China and the US announced bans with Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong soon to follow suit. Elephanatics is advocating that Canada also ban the sale of ivory but we’re waiting for the Honourable Minister to make up her mind about this issue.
Since the closure of these markets the “ivory trade” is flowing to two other markets, Japan and Vietnam.
Japan has long resisted closing the trade in any way, just like they resist closing the Taiji dolphin slaughter. Japan has consumed ivory from at least 262,500 elephants since 1970, the vast majority from large, mature adults. A 2015 JTEF and EIA single-day survey of Yahoo! Japan and Rakuten, a popular e-commerce site, likewise revealed some 12,200 ads for ivory—about 10 percent of which indicated, illegally, that the material could be shipped overseas.
The article below is long but it’s worth reading. Elephants are like people. They are highly intelligent, emotional and complex animals. They are a keystone species which means we need them. I am hoping that the next generation of human beings will be justifiably horrified and appalled at our horrifying treatment of animals and wildlife including this astonishing species. While we dither they die. What a profound loss that is for everyone but especially them.
Ben Mulroney Interview with Dr. Beyers on the Inexplicable Canadian Elephant Ivory Law and the Botswana Massacre
Elephanatics is a small Vancouver-based not-for-profit that advocates on behalf of African and Asian elephants. We’re a small team with a host of amazing volunteers and advisors. In response to the recent massacre of elephants in Botswana, Elephanatics was asked to comment on CTV with journalist Ben Mulroney. Dr. Rene Beyers, a zoologist at UBC and one of our amazing supporters and advisors, answered some tough questions on why the massacre happened, and why Canada still hasn’t done anything to close the legal trade of ivory.
A big thanks to Rene for being the voice of elephants in Canada on our behalf. You can watch this interview here. #ivoryfreecanada
On March 14th Elephanatics sent a letter to Minister McKenna asking the federal government to close the legal trade of ivory in Canada. The letter was signed by members of the BC Legislature, Honourable Mike Farnworth, Jane Thornthwaite) and Parliament of Canada Don Davies, Fin Donnelly and Nathan Erskine-Smith), scientists and environmentalists asking the government for a ban on the import, export, re-export and domestic trade of all elephant ivory.
Some of the signatories include BC SPCA, International Fund for Animal Welfare, the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada, Big Life Foundation, Born Free, World Elephant Day, Stop Ivory and African Wildlife Foundation. Noted elephant research scientists Dr Richard Leakey, Dr Caitlin O’Connell-Rodwell, Dr Joyce Poole, Ron Orenstein and Dr Cynthia Moss also put their name to the letter.
A petition with the signatures of over 130,000 private citizens was included with the letter.
Elephanatics has asked for a meeting with the Minister to discuss first steps in making Canada a leader in the protection of elephants. The overwhelming response to the petition, the incredible support by national and international wildlife advocacy organizations, including world re-known scientists and conservationists, suggests that Canadians are ready for Canada to do the right thing for the protection of this magnificent keystone species.
Please write your member of parliament or the Minister (Catherine.McKenna@parl.gc.ca ) in support of our efforts to end the legal trade of ivory in Canada.
Please read and share this letter.
Please share and sign this petition.
Change doesn’t happen without the support of remarkable individuals and organizations. Thanks to everyone who has supported our efforts.
Elephanatics has sent a letter to Minister Catherine McKenna today asking the Canadian government to close the legal domestic trade of elephant ivory in Canada.
We are thrilled to have been supported by 95 distinguished national and international wildlife and animal advocacy organisations, conservationists, scientists, Members of the Parliament of Canada and the BC Legislature. Enclosed with our letter is a link to our online petition for the public to also ask the Canadian government to ban the domestic trade of elephant ivory. The petition has garnered over 118,000+ signatures and is growing every minute.
The astounding groundswell of support for the #ivoryfreecanada campaign is telling. We know that African elephants will be extinct in the wild within 20 years if countries continue to allow the legal domestic trade of elephant ivory. The flow of illegal ivory through legal domestic markets is well documented.
Kenya and 29 other African Elephant Coalition countries petitioned the 17th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 2016 to call for the total closure of all remaining ivory markets. Countries such as the United States, France and China have already closed their domestic ivory trade. The United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Taiwan and likely Singapore will also soon follow suit. Due to the US Administration over-turning their ban on elephant trophy imports onMarch 1, 2018, there is additional onus on the rest of the world to increase their efforts to protect elephants.
The astonishing number of signatures on the petition demonstrates the public no longer tolerates inaction by governments, while elephants are being decimated in the hundreds of thousands by greedy poachers. INTERPOL estimates the worldwide illegal wildlife trade at up to US$23 billion a year, making it the fourth most lucrative organized crime after drugs, human trafficking and counterfeiting.
Our ask of the Canadian government is an opportunity for real leadership on an important worldwide issue. While Canada may not represent the largest market for elephant ivory, by banning the domestic trade it signals to the international community that Canada is committed to leading the fight to save the world’s most iconic keystone species.
Julie MacInnes, Wildlife Campaign Manager of Humane Society International/Canada, a signatory on Elephantics’ letter says, “CITES has recommended that all nations with ivory markets that contribute to poaching and illegal trade close these markets. Multiple seizures of illegal ivory in Canada in recent years clearly indicate that an elephant ivory market closure is warranted, particularly given the items seized likely represent only a small fraction of the problem. It is time Canada respect the CITES recommendation and protect elephants by prohibiting ivory trade.”
Elephants don’t have to go extinct. It’s a choice that is made by people and by governments. We are asking the Canadian government to take a lead role, as other international countries have done As a country we not only have a responsibility but a moral obligation to be part of saving one of Earth’s most precious animals – the elephant.
The Elephanatics team is running a campaign in support of our petition (over 35,000 signatories)
Please join the #ivoryfreecanada campaign today!
Did you know it is still legal to buy and sell ivory in Canada? Both African and Asian elephants may be extinct in the wild in our lifetime, mainly due to poaching. Elephanatics created the #ivoryfreecanada campaign to help keep our elephants alive. We wrote a letter to the Canadian government, requesting a ban on all domestic trade of elephant ivory. Over 80 Canadian and international scientists, politicians and animal organisations have co-signed the letter!
Now We Need Your Help!
- Download the #ivoryfreecanada mini-poster or create your own with the same hashtag. Take a photo of you holding it and post it on social media with the handles: #ivoryfreecanada and @elephanaticsbc. Challenge your friends to do the same to save elephants.
- Email your photo to email@example.com and we will add it to this page.
- Sign the petition that will also go to the government. We need as many signatures as possible (Canadian or international citizens) before March 14, 2018. Share it on facebook and twitter.
- Tell your friends and family about the elephant crisis and how a domestic ban on elephant ivory trade would help.
In the last century, the Asian elephant population has declined by over 50% and African elephants have plummeted by 97%. Poaching for ivory threatens the very survival of our elephants. The two largest consumers of ivory – China and the United States – have banned domestic ivory sales. So why not Canada?
On New Year’s Day at 2:30 pm I’m taking a dive into the freezing cold waters of English Bay, (Vancouver, BC) lemon drop martini in hand, and wearing a crazy elephant costume to raise money for the rescue of a working elephant in Thailand. I’m going to get cold, (oh yes I am), apparently I might float away, body parts might separate themselves from me and most likely I will be hungover because the night before is New Years Eve, so ya there’s that. It’s going to be messy and I’m going to freeze my bum off but we’re going to have some fun. My friend Leanne will be joining me.
If you’re in Vancouver, please come down and maybe we’ll sing a song and have a sip of the lemon drop and then you can scream and yell in anticipation as I run toward the gentle ocean waves!
If you love elephants as I do and want to be a part of this rescue effort, please consider donating to a great cause. Small amounts welcome. Larger amounts welcome too!
Thanks so much!