02 February 2018
South Belfast MP Emma Little Pengelly , showed her support for WWF’s campaign to end the illegal wildlife trade by attending a charity event in the Houses of Parliament to celebrate China’s ivory ban, which came in to force this month.
The situation for elephants is critical, with around 55 a day being killed for their ivory – this means more African elephants are being poached for their ivory than are being born.
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson addressed the reception, which was also attended by Environment Secretary Michael Gove, representatives of the Chinese Embassy and MPs and Lords from across the political parties.
Jointly hosted by WWF and the Chinese embassy, the reception highlighted that, if successful, the Chinese closure of its ivory markets will reduce opportunities to buy and sell illegal ivory, and help to reduce demand. But it is important that other, neighbouring countries follow suit with similar laws, to ensure that this sickening trade does not simply shift to places with weaker laws.
The Chinese move comes as a proposal to also ban ivory trade in the UK has been announced by the UK Government.
Emma Little Pengelly MP commented:
“I was delighted to be able to attend WWF and the Chinese Embassy’s reception, and show my support for ending the ivory trade. A world without African elephants is unthinkable, and governments across the world need to do everything they can to ensure it never happens.
I know my constituents in South Belfast care deeply about this issue, and tens of thousands of people responded to the UK Government’s recent consultation on banning the ivory trade. We now need to get on and do it – 2018 should be the year when we turn the tide on the poaching of elephants and other precious wildlife.”