Category Archives: elephants
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.
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!
There was a strong world-wide reaction when President Trump threatened to reverse a 2014 ban on importing elephant trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia. Few Canadians realized, however, that Canada never had such a ban in place to begin with. Recently a reporter approached Elephanatics President Fran Duthie regarding an Elephantatics petition to the Canadian government […]
Many people, understandably, don’t get the connection between global markets and the killing of elephants for their tusks. But with poaching continuing to present the gravest threat to their very existence (one every fifteen minutes is killed |70% total decline in population in less than 40 years due to poaching, and only 415,000 remaining), the International Union for the Conservation of Nature has called for all countries to close their domestic markets.
Canadians are often surprised to learn that the Canadian domestic “legal” ivory trade is still open. The legal trade is one in which the product is dated prior to 1975. The issue with the legal trade is that it is difficult to date ivory and as a result illegal ivory flows through legal domestic markets.
Canada also allows the importation of legal trophies. Under its obligation to CITES (The Convention on the International Trade on Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna) those trophies can only come from countries regulated by CITES, and thus it is legal under those circumstances.
Below are the instances in which ivory can enter the country:
In order to legally possess ivory in Canada, the following criteria must be met, in accordance to the Wild Animal and Plant Trade Regulations (13 (1)):
(a) the person who possesses it establishes a reasonable probability that it or, in the case of a part or derivative, the animal or plant from which it comes, was taken from its habitat before July 3, 1975;
(b) the person who possesses it establishes a reasonable probability that it was legally imported into Canada; or
(c) the person who possesses it establishes a reasonable probability that the distributing of it or the offering to distribute it would be in accordance with any applicable federal and provincial laws that relate to the conservation and protection of the animal or plant.
However, these criteria are not applicable to elephant ivory from appendix II. Appendix II ivory is only required to be legally imported into Canada.
Appendix I items must have import and export permits, while appendix II items are only required to have export permits.
Canada’s position on ivory at international conferences:
- IUCN World Conservation Congress in Hawaii in 2016 results in an international commitment to close domestic ivory markets. Four countries object – Canada, Namibia, South Africa & Japan
- At the 17th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES, Canada voted against moving all African elephants to Appendix I to provide them the highest level of protection.
In recent years there has been some movement from large ivory markets such as the US and China to close their domestic markets which has the potential to have a significant impact on decreasing the ivory trade and giving elephants the chance to survive the war being waged on their existence.
- 2015 China and US announce an agreement to a “nearly complete ban” on ivory import/export and commercial domestic ivory trade7 in both countries (no completion date given).
- 2016 January: Hong Kong pledges to a complete ban on commercial domestic ivory trade by 2021.
- June: US passes new regulations that ban almost all domestic ivory trade. August: IUCN World Conservation Congress in Hawaii results in international commitment to close domestic ivory markets. Four countries object – Canada, Namibia, South Africa & Japan.
- October: CITES conference in Johannesburg fails to put all elephant populations in Appendix I by only 9 votes – Canada, US, UK & EU vote against it. However, Botswana, with the most elephants, reverses their pro-ivory trade policy and supports a total ban.
- 2017 January: Price of raw ivory in China falls to US$730 per kilogram (65% drop in less 3 years) due to Chinese economic slowdown, anti-poaching team success and crackdown on corruption.
- February: Draft EU guidance document indicates possible ban on raw ivory exports by July 1, to make sure that illegal tusks are not laundered with legal tusks.
- March: China closes the first of its 67 licensed ivory carving factories and retailers, and promises to close its domestic ivory market by end of 2017.
- March: Hong Kong says a bill on ivory trade will be introduced by end June. Hong Kong also convicts 2 people for illegal ivory possession, using radiocarbon dating to prove post-1990 ban.
It would be great to see Canada take pro-active steps to save one of the world’s most iconic, intelligent, keystone species by closing the domestic trade, banning the importation of trophies into Canada and vote to have all elephants moved to Appendix 1 of the CITES convention. I want Canada to be the country who does everything it can to save these magnificent animals from extinction not only because it can but because it should.