I am writing to you to ask that you urgently act to implement the promised domestic ban on elephant ivory and rhino horn trade.
African elephants lost 96% of their population in the last century. All five species of rhino and both species of elephant are threatened with extinction. This devastating decline is due in no small part to poaching driven by demand for their ivory and horns.
While the UN CITES treaty has banned international trade in ivory across international borders, to be effective, all countries have agreed to close domestic trade within their borders. The African Elephant Coalition, representing 78% of African countries holding elephants, has called on the world community to shut down ivory markets. Countries including the United States, United Kingdom and China have taken action in response. Australia committed to take action in 2019, but we are still waiting.
Australia’s domestic elephant ivory and rhino horn trade was also the subject of a parliamentary inquiry in 2018 and Australia’s environment ministers agreed to take this issue forward in their national meeting in November 2019. Yet nothing has happened. There is no more reason for delay. Every country has to do their bit. Australia must not be a loophole in the global effort to stamp out the elephant ivory and rhino horn trades. I look forward to all Australian jurisdictions working together to end to the delays and legislate a ban.
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