Target: Madam Yin Hong, Deputy Director of the State Forestry Administration, China
Goal: Pressure China to end the legal ivory trade, which is contributing to the slaughter of elephants in Africa
96 elephants are killed every day, 35,000 elephants a year, to supply both legal and illegal ivory to China, decimating elephant herds throughout Africa. While the Chinese government has publically stated its opposition to elephant poaching, as long as there is a legal ivory trade in China the government is sending mixed messages and hurting elephants. Tell Madam Yin Hong at China’s State Forestry Administration that it is time to stop the Chinese ivory trade.
A recent story on China’s role in the ivory trade and its impact on elephants in Africa went viral throughout China’s middle class, the largest consumers of ivory in the world, raising awareness on this issue to their highest levels ever. In response, the Chinese government is planning to destroy some of the ivory confiscated from smugglers in a public ceremony. But the Chinese government is sending mixed messages by maintaining a legal ivory trade that acts as a cover for illegal ivory, leading to increased elephant poaching.
A complete international ban on ivory sales was in effect from 1989 to 2008, and elephant herd numbers recovered significantly during this time. But in 2008 it became legal to sell ivory in China and demand skyrocketed along with the illegal poaching of elephants for their ivory. Elephant herd numbers are now in decline and illegal ivory runs rampant through China. Tell Madam Yin Hong at China’s State Forestry Administration to stop the ivory trade in China and ban all ivory sales to save these majestic animals from extinction.
Dear Madam Yin,
Since the sale of ivory was legalized in China in 2008, illegal ivory has flooded the Chinese markets and elephant poaching has increased, decimating elephant herds in Africa. It is estimated that 96 elephants are killed every day to supply ivory to China’s newly affluent middle class. But a recent article in the Southern Weekly has raised awareness of the impact of the ivory trade among the people of China, creating a perfect opportunity for the Chinese government to take a clear stand against ivory and reinstitute a full ban on all ivory sales.
The experiment in legal ivory has failed. Instead of curbing the illegal ivory trade it is increasing the demand for ivory, leading to more poaching activity and acting as a legal cover for illegal ivory. It is time to admit that the sale of ivory, bloody teeth as the poachers call it, has no place in modern China.
Madam Yin, please lead China forward with a full ban on ivory sales and save the majestic elephants of Africa from extinction.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Martin Harvey via World Wildlife Fund