Enforce a Total Ban on sale of Ivory

  • by: Venetia Bell
  • target: President Xi Jinping of the Peoples' Republic of China

Kenya's Wildlife Service has taken the drastic step of cutting off elephants' tusks as the only means of preventing poaching. What is an elephant without its tusks? And no one knows how these amputations will affect an elephant's place within the group and if they will make them more subject to disease.

The killing of elephants has constantly increased since 2003, a 700 percent leap between 1999 and 2009 in the Tsavo Conservation area alone. Dr. Richard Leakey estimates that as many as 2000 elephants are being massacred in Kenya each year.

KWS rangers are well-trained but poachers operate in remote areas. Budget cuts mean that local people no longer receive compensation. They prefer to collaborate with poachers who pay them more than they can earn in a year. 

More than half of illegal ivory ends up in China and without the cooperation of the Chinese government these massacres will continue until there are no more elephants outside of zoos. Our children and grandchildren will see pictures of them in books, and think that they are another kind of dinosaur.

Please tell President Xi Jinping to stop imports of elephant tusks and rhino horns-- carved ivory statues are less beautiful than elephants.

Dear President Xi Jinping,


We are appealing you to impose a total ban on the selling of ivory to protect elephants that are being massacred at an alarming rate by poachers in Africa. The robust regulatory system applied by your government has proved ineffective, with investigators finding illegal ivory on open sale even in remote parts of China.


If Kenya's Wildlife Service has taken the drastic step of cutting off elephants' tusks as the only means of preventing poaching, it means that the situation is desperate.


Wildlife Service rangers are well-trained but poachers operate in remote areas. Budget cuts mean that local people no longer receive compensation. They prefer to collaborate with poachers who pay them more than they can earn in a year. 


Since more than half of illegal ivory ends up in your country, without your cooperation these massacres will continue until there are no more elephants outside of zoos. Our children and grandchildren will see pictures of them in books, and think that they are another kind of dinosaur.


As the leader of a great nation, it is your duty to protect nature for future generations and the world counts on you to do so.


Thank you for your understanding.


With best regards,



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