Goldsmith Leads Anti-Ivory Campaign

Elephant's ivory tusks are highly sought afterRichmond Park and North Kingston MP, Zac Goldsmith helped crush over 100kg of ivory on Monday to show his solidarity with poached elephants.

The crush was organised by an animal welfare group ahead of a international summit on the illegal wildlife trade which has taken place in London.

Robbie Marsland, UK Director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare, said: “We would like to thank Mr Goldsmith for supporting our ivory surrender which sends a clear message to governments attending the forthcoming summit. It is clear the UK public want to see an end to elephants being mindlessly slaughtered for their ivory.”

In Parliament last week, Goldsmith told MPs: “Africa has lost an astonishing 90% of its elephants in the past half century. 40,000 elephants are killed every year, or one every 15 minutes.”

Mr Goldsmith has met with ministers to encourage them to support the protection of elephants.

Specifically he has asked the Government to provide more support for the African Elephant Action Plan, which for the first time has the support of all 38 African Elephant range states.

He has also tabled a Parliamentary Motion calling on the Government to use Department for International Development funds to support the plan, 126 MPs have supported the Motion.

Speaking in the debate, Mr Goldsmith said: “We should remember that these animals are being butchered for trinkets such as toothpicks and chopsticks – nothing more noble.”

He continued: “Between the wilds of Africa and the mantelpiece, where these things often end up, there is a violent vortex of organised crime, with much of the proceeds funding terroism. The truth is that when a consumer buys a piece of ivory, they might as well be putting money in a collection tin for al-Qaeda.”

He went on to criticise China: “The Chinese government recently destoryed 33 tonnes of ivory, but the state itself owns 30 ivory carving factories. The simple fact remains that unless they turn their attention to the legal trade, the extinction of elephants will be assured.”

Joan Walley, chair of the environmental audit select committee, said about Mr Goldsmith: “If elephants ever need a friend he is the right person to provide protection for them.”

Image courtesy of REX features

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