Target: United States Government
Goal: Support the ongoing effort to eliminate the ivory trade
On November 14, 2013, the US Fish and Wildlife Service will destroy 5.4 tons of elephant ivory. Since a ban on commercial imports went into effect in 1989, the U.S. Government has been stockpiling seized ivory. Most of this stockpiled ivory will soon be crushed, eliminating the possibility of its being bought or sold. Please support the U.S. Government’s ongoing effort to eliminate the ivory trade.
Largely a symbolic act, destroying the ivory makes a clear statement that ivory trafficking will not be tolerated and offenders will be pursued vigorously. Kenya’s destruction of 13 tons of ivory in 1989 proved to be a catalyst for the historic ban in 1989. Other countries, like Gabon in 2012 and the Philippines in 2013, have made similar courageous statements. The steps taken by these countries are particularly noble, considering that they were forfeiting immediate financial gains.
Notwithstanding the inspirational benefits of these statements of principle, ivory destruction ceremonies alone will not stop the ivory trade. The United States has no ban on the domestic sale of ivory, providing a continued incentive for ivory smugglers. Additionally, the market in Asia is booming and elephant poaching and ivory trafficking have increased since 2011.
Unlike countries like Kenya, Gabon, and Philippines, the United States is risking very little financially or otherwise by destroying this valuable commodity. The United States needs to make a commitment equivalent to these other progressive countries and, as the next step, ban domestic trade. Though admirable, the destruction of this ivory needs to be a rallying point for further efforts to eliminate the ivory trade.
By signing the petition below you are commending the U.S. Government for making a clear statement regarding our objection to the ivory trade and supporting their ongoing efforts to eliminate the ivory trade.
Dear United States Government,
I commend you for making a clear statement regarding the United States’ objection to the ivory trade by crushing 5.4 tons of confiscated ivory.
This symbolic act is a step in the rights direction and I hope that other countries will follow the example set by Kenya, Gabon, the Philippines, and now the United States. I hope that looking back, this ceremonial act will prove to be inspirational for additional measures that are necessary to protect the elephant population. As stockpile destruction of ivory will likely cause the price of ivory and poachers’ incentive to kill more elephants to increase, it is imperative that the United States Government lead the charge in making sure these ameliorative efforts don’t prove to be ruinous. As such, I also urge you to consider the ivory destruction ceremony to be but the first step in a renewed effort to eliminate the ivory trade. Banning domestic trade in the U.S., for example, would be an appropriate follow-up to demonstrate America’s full commitment to eliminating the ivory trade.
Thus, I commend the U.S. Government for making a clear statement regarding our objection to the ivory trade and support your ongoing efforts to eliminate the ivory trade.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons