GREEN PIECE: Ivory still an issue

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First Posted: 3/5/2013

Most people are aware of the ivory trade, something that has been going on for hundreds of years. Ivory trade is the highly profitable selling of ivory from animals such as walrus, narwhal, and, most commonly, Asian and African elephants. Because ivory has been traded for so long and at such rapid rates, several species have become endangered as a direct result of the ivory trade.

It doesn’t take much to realize that this is an extremely bad business, if you can even call it a business. One of the latest defenders of wildlife to speak out against the ivory trade is also one of the biggest names to speak out against this horrific monopoly in general. Earlier this week, Prince William addressed a group of representatives attending a wildlife conservation conference. The Duke of Cambridge has been a longtime animal advocate and is a supporter and member of the wildlife conservation charity Tusk Trust.

“As we enter 2013, the world’s natural resources are under threat as never before,” Prince William stated at the conference held in Bangkok, Thailand.

“We know from the data and analysis presented to this meeting that the illegal killing of the African elephant and rhino, and the related illegal trade in their ivory and horn, has reached shocking levels in the past few years.”

Prince William went on to say that if more of an effort is not made and this serious crime is not stopped that we may very well soon see some of the most magnificent creatures on our planet entirely disappear from the wild.

The Prime Minister of Thailand, Yingluck Shinawatra, responded to an enormous amount of requests from international wildlife groups pleading that Thailand stop the slaughter of African elephants for ivory by publicly promising to end Thailand’s ivory trade.

“We will work towards amending the national legislation with the goal of putting an end to ivory trade and to be in line with the international norms,” stated Yingluck.

“This will help protect all forms of elephants, including Thailand’s wild and domestic elephants.”

According to the New York Times and a report from wildlife conservationists, since the beginning of 2012, more than 32,000 elephants have been killed by poachers for their ivory. Some of the ivory ends up in Thailand, but much of it is smuggled into China, where the ivory is carved into figures, chopsticks, and other useless trinkets.

There is much more work to be done in order to put a stop to illegal ivory trading. If more people like Prince William spoke out against this vicious crime, perhaps others would realize how serious the issue is and more action would be taken to stop it.