East Yorkshire MP Sir Greg Knight is backing a cross party Parliamentary motion calling for an end to the slaughter of African elephants.
Currently around 10% of the African elephant population is killed every year by poachers. Every 15 minutes an elephant is slaughtered with the killing being driven by the illegal trade in ivory, run by criminal gangs.
The motion backed by Sir Greg pays tribute to the Foreign Secretary’s role in planning to host a high level conference in illegal wildlife trade in February 2014 and to the British Army for the training they give to anti-poaching rangers in Kenya.
Mr Knight said, “I am urging the Government to press hard to secure a commitment from the international community to work together to reduce demand for wildlife products and to enforce international law”.
The text of the motion reads: That this House notes with alarm that an estimated 40,000 African elephants are killed each year, one every 15 minutes, out of a total population of 400,000; recognises that the profits from the illegal wildlife trade pose an increasing threat to security by funding criminal gangs and terrorism, including al-Shabab, the Somali cell of al-Qaeda; welcomes the Government’s active role as a party to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species and its support for a total ban on ivory sales; further welcomes the training and support provided by the British Army for the Kenya Wildlife Services anti-poaching rangers; further welcomes the Foreign Secretary’s initiative to host a high-level conference on illegal wildlife trade in February 2014; encourages the Government in its efforts to secure a commitment from the international community to work together to reduce demand for wildlife products, to enforce the law, and to provide sustainable alternative livelihoods; and calls on the Government to encourage international support for the protection of elephants which are now universally acknowledged as intelligent, social, sentient beings and to use the overseas aid budget to make a substantial and strategically important contribution to the African Elephant Action Plan adopted in 2010 by all 38 African Elephant Range States in order to enable African countries to take the necessary steps to protect their elephants from poachers and to stop the illegal trafficking of ivory.