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Domestic ivory markets in the EU

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation

Over the past few months, David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF) has been engaging in a number of high-level meetings with the European Union urging them to enforce an immediate ban on the domestic trade in ivory. With 20,000 elephants being killed for their tusks every year, there is an urgent need to close domestic ivory markets which provide a guise to launder illegal ivory into legal markets, enforce social acceptability, fuel demand, and leads to increased levels of poaching across Africa.

Acknowledging the links between domestic ivory markets and the illegal killing of elephants, countries such as the UK, China, and the USA have taken monumental steps to close their ivory markets in recent years. It’s now time for the European Union to follow suit and meet its targets set out in a newly adopted Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 which includes proposing a ‘further tightening of the rules on ivory trade.’

On the 28th October, DG Environment (the department responsible for European policy on the Environment) presented a new proposal on the ivory trade. DSWF believes that this proposal does not go far enough and leaves many loopholes that will allow trade to continue and thus promote the continued poaching of elephants across Africa. Over the coming month, DSWF will continue to work with the EU to tighten laws on ivory trade and give this iconic species a chance to recover in the wild.

Read DSWF’s position on domestic ivory markets.

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