Avaaz Petition: Calling on the CITES Secretariat to investigate trade in live baby elephants from Zimbabwe to China

Apr 17, 2019 | Petitions

Global Citizens call on the Secretariat Ivonne Higuero to examine the trade in 35 wild caught Infant Elephants some as young as two years old currently being held in Bomas at Hwange National Park Zimbabwe awaiting export to Chinese Zoos and Circuses.

Whilst investigators have provided evidence of infants captured, the Zimbabwe Parks Authority are saying these are Sub-Adults 8 years old and they are exercising their right under CITES 11 rules to sell Live Elephants over the age of six. Evidence produced clearly show these are infants


When we apply the rules of App11 the criteria has not been met in these captures or the 114 already taken using false information which is a misrepresentation of the Treaty. 

Zimbabwe National Laws have been broken. The Constitution Wildlife Act specifically points out that if the criteria is not met the captures and refusal of access by Independent Animal Welfare and Scientific experts to the capture and quarantine procedure again in contravention of the Act. The Authorities in Zimbabwe have been in denial that any such captures even took place in order to revert the financial income from these sales for other uses other than Conservation. This is not the will of the Zimbabwe people 


Wildlife Act Constitutional Laws violated 


Deceptive representation by the Zimbabwe Government at the African Elephants Coalition Seminar in Nairobi mid February where they failed to declare at the time of the vote against the Live Elephants Trade that in fact they were mid-trade on another 35 infant elephants awaiting export to China Zoos.


The ongoing export of wild infant elephants from Zimbabwe is morally reprehensible and devastating. Since 2012 China has taken 114 infant elephants for their Zoos and Circuses and now another 35.

CITES Article IV – under regulations of trade of live animals in Appendix II – States that export permits may be granted only if there is no cruelty, no damage to health, minimum risk of injury and the animals are sent to “appropriate and acceptable” destination only. Elephants should be over the age of six. Yet clear evidence shows that infants as young as 2 years old are being imported into China and Re-sold into unknown destinations.
Animals Asia report on Elephants in Zoos and Circuses in China shows clear evidence that the rules of App11 have been broken


We can not allow this continued flouting of the CITES treaty to be flouted and broken by China who refuse to be accountable or care less about specifics of Commercial Use.

Continued neglect by the Regulator CITES has enabled the illegal import of over 114 infant elephants from Zimbabwe where a corrupt dictatorship Government  is diverting funds from the sales away from Conservation


When pressured with evidence that the Elephants were captured, People and Earth Solidarity Lawyers have challenged Zimbabwe Authorities for transparency on the trade in accordance with the Constitution Wildlife Act but we have yet to receive a direct written response from the Authorities 


Zimbabwe Animal Welfare laws have been broken, Scientific and Welfare Organisations according to the Law should have been involved in the capture and quarantine process but all parties wishing to gain access have been threatened with violence and lose of operating licences. We fear they are now being prepared to be loaded onto transport and will be sent to Zoos and Amusement Parks in China – yet more CITES regulations being broken since Chinese Zoos and Parks are not suitable destinations for wild African elephants. 

We are calling on the Secretariat to call for a full investigation of China’s illegal Live Elephants trade from Zimbabwe and a full investigation in the permits issued for the Trade of the 35 infants currently being held at Hwange National Park awaiting export to Chinese Zoos. 

We are calling for FULL investigation into the trade since 2012 of the 114 infants sent already and for China to account and provide an exact location of each of the Elephants so welfare and legal visits can be arranged. These Elephants are the assets of the People of Zimbabwe in accordance of the Law Wildlife Act all wildlife is owned by the citizens stakeholders yet they have no say. 

It truly breaks my heart to imagine the suffering these elephants endure – both those who are shipped into captivity and their family members who are left behind in the wild to grieve. We must send a strong message that this barbaric treatment of elephants is unacceptable and must stop. Zoos are not interested in conservation or preserving the species, when the specimen  arrives at the zoo it is enslaved to entertain humans and exploited for procreation with the fallacy of conservation.

Please sign this petition urging Cites to investigate the illegal trade in Wild infant elephants by China for their Zoos and Circuses.


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