The United States has the world’s second largest market for ivory sales. Even worse, some US markets serve as fronts for illegal sales.
Illegal ivory sales and poaching go hand-in-hand, killing a staggering 96 elephants a day in Africa - just for their tusks. This criminal and cruel activity is not only harmful to wildlife, it’s a threat to US security and economic interests, because criminal networks that are involved in illegal ivory trade are the same groups that traffic drugs, humans and weapons.
As long as US ivory trade is allowed to continue, US dollars will be backing the illicit trafficking
operations that are responsible for elephant deaths and lead to political instability.
Some activists believe a US moratorium on ivory commerce should be in effect while legislators close loopholes that allow illegal sales and ensure enforcement of existing laws. Others say that unless something is done quickly to turn the tide, the outlook for African elephants is very bleak.
Tell Congress to do what it takes to end illegal Ivory sales in the US!
We, the undersigned, agree that the U.S. must act immediately and decisively to end the threat against African elephants and U.S. stability.
Research conducted by the Wildlife Conservation Society in cooperation with other wildlife organizations found that the forest elephant population declined by 76% between 2002 and 2013, with the numbers dropping from 322,000 to about 80,000 animals. If this rate continues, say activists, estimates are that central African elephants could be extinct in 10 years!
Furthermore, several sources confirm that ivory poaching is connected to terrorism, with ivory being traded for weapons and other supplies, and the United Nations linked one terrorist group responsible for recent civilian attacks with ivory poaching in Kenya.
NBC News reported last week that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry offered a $1 million reward for tips leading to the disruption of one Laos-based criminal network. The US Fish and Wildlife Service followed this effort by crushing 6 tons of confiscated ivory in Denver last week to send a message to criminal networks and draw further attention to the poaching crisis.
But this may not be enough to stop it. It’s very likely that the Wildlife Conservation’s Society’s demand for a moratorium on US ivory sales may be what it takes to ensure the message is heard.
We request that Congress do whatever it takes to end all illegal ivory sales in the United States.
Thanks for your time.