Tens of thousands of elephants continue to be slaughtered every year for their tusks. This slaughter is fuelled by demand for ivory by consumers in many countries, including Japan, but also in the EU.
Between 2007 and 2014, one elephant was killed every 15 minutes, every single day. 144,000 elephants were killed across Africa in just seven years. If poaching continues at current rates, elephants will be extinct within a decade.
Momentum is growing across the world to close domestic ivory markets and end the ivory trade due to the clear links legal European markets have with the illegal killing of elephants. Despite the pressure from several Member States including France and Luxembourg and 90,000 EU citizens, the European Commission, supported by the governments of Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Sweden and Ireland still refuse to adopt stricter ivory trading rules.
EU environment ministers will imminently agree on ivory trade rules on behalf of its 28 members in advance of the UN Conference on the Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) which takes place in Geneva in August. I urge you to contact EU environment ministers and call on them to support the closure of all domestic ivory markets to ensure the future survival of the African elephant.