Saving the elephant: International ban on ivory

IFAW is an international organization which has animal rights as its core business, which fights a global battle for the protection of animals, whether they are badly treated or are in danger of extinction. Its success stories are is the latest, the war against ivory poachers.

In the latest issue of IFAW's magazine, World of Animals, the special feature is "To the Rescue: Saving animals in danger" and among those mentioned in this copy is the elephant.

As IFAW points out, "every piece of ivory means an elephant has died". In 2011, over 5,000 elephant tusks were confiscated, and 27,445 pounds of ivory were impounded.

Organised crime syndicates cover Africa looking for the raw material - living animals - to massacre, hack off their tusks and ship the ivory to the main market these days - the PR China. To help save the elephant, IFAW is working closely with INTERPOL to bring the culprits to task, while reinforcing work with national and regional animal welfare agencies in terms of information sharing and training of rangers on reserves.

IFAW trains and equips rangers with cutting edge communications equipment - the latest training action has encompassed eleven southern African countries, including 11 law enforcement officials, three eco-guards and 35 wildlife and security officials, along with information sharing schemes with port, customs, airport and judiciary officials.

The war is ongoing and the stakes are rising. In the words of IFAW's East Africa Director James Isiche, "As long as demand for ivory in China continues to increase, elephants in Africa and Asia will be under increasing pressure from poaching".

The solution? "We know what the solution is," continues Isiche. "A full and complete international ban on all sales of ivory".

Launched in 1969, US-based IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) is a non-profit-making organization which sends professionals to help animal welfare around the world, entering disaster areas, saving livestock and working to stamp out cruelty. From saving dogs in Bali, cattle in Pakistan, IFAW worked around the globe, fighting seal clubbing, whaling and raising awareness into animal suffering.

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Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey


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Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey