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The elephants of Africa are heading towards extinction. Tragically, one elephant is killed by a poacher every 15 minutes for its ivory. The rate of killing compared to natural population growth means the largest animal on Earth could soon become extinct.
China licenses 35 ivory carving factories and 130 ivory retailers to sell 'legal' ivory. Nonetheless, it is the factories and retailers that sustain the current poaching crisis. ‘Legal’ ivory is obtained from the 2008 CITES sanctioned sale of ivory stockpiles from four African countries, however, a 2011 survey by International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) found that out of all the carving factories and retailers in China, 101 were not licensed or were smuggling ivory.
The Chinese government has been cracking down on the illegal trade, but the legal ivory market is a cover for the vast illegal market. There would be no market for the poachers if China banned all ivory and closed down the carving factories and retailers.
Already a member of CITES, China has been hinting it could take a harder line on elephant ivory. China participated in the London Conference on the Illegal Wildlife Trade earlier this year, which urged a tougher stance on the ivory trade.
It’s time for China to take action before the world loses another iconic species. Please sign the petition and demand that China closes the ivory carving factories and ivory retailers to save the elephant from extinction.