Sunday 25 August 2019

WATCH: Powerful WWF Christmas advert tugs on heart strings as elephant looks poachers in the eye

Harry Cockburn

Wildlife charity WWF has made an advert ahead of Christmas to highlight poaching for the illegal ivory trade.

The video appears to show an elephant watching as poachers use machine guns to kill another member of its herd.

The advert comes as US President Donald Trump has halted an earlier decision by his administration to allow hunters who kill elephants in Zimbabwe to bring their “trophies” back to America.

The President backtracked hours after lifting restrictions imposed by the Obama administration.

In a statement, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said he had spoken to Mr Trump and “both believe that conservation and healthy herds are critical.” He said the “issuing of permits is being put on hold as the decision is being reviewed.”

Elephant populations in Africa have continued to fall, despite declining levels of poaching, it was revealed last month.

In east Africa, elephant populations have almost halved over the last decade.

Poaching in the region has dropped to pre-2008 levels, but the situation remains bleak in central Africa, according to a report by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.

In southern Africa elephant populations are stable or increasing.

In 2016 seizures of large ivory shipments hit a record high and the global illegal ivory trade remained as buoyant as in previous years, though this was credited in part to a panic sell-off of ivory as new bans come into place in various countries.

Earlier last month, the UK Government bowed to pressure by campaigners to ban the sale of ivory regardless of its age. It is currently running a 12-week consultation on the ban. Current UK laws allow the trade of “antiques”, carved before 1947.

The US, China and Hong Kong are among the key countries also implementing a ban, and the new legislation comes as the price of ivory has fallen by as much as 50 per cent in recent years.

According to the WWF an average of 55 elephants are killed every day.

Independent News Service

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