DSWF supports Hong Kong’s move to close its domestic ivory market but calls for a reduced timeframe

The David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF) has pledged its support and commended the actions taken by the Government of Hong Kong towards a closure of their domestic ivory market but is calling for the proposed five year ‘phase out’ period to be reduced.

“Whilst we applaud and support the actions taken by the Government of Hong Kong to announce the implementation and enforcement of an ivory ban, the current poaching levels are unsustainable with over 30,000 African elephants being slaughtered every year. If this rate continues, in five years’ time, the length of time of the proposed ‘phase out’ period suggested by the Government of Hong Kong, an additional 150,000 elephants will have been killed for their ivory,” says DSWF CEO, Oliver Smith. “We, like many conservation organisations, therefore have serious concerns regarding this timeline which we feel does not go far enough to ensure the end of this slaughter. Hong Kong’s commitment is in stark contrast to China who are leading the way by confirming that a full phase out of all ivory processing and sales will be implemented by the end of 2017.”

Since the passing of the CITES resolution on the closure of domestic ivory markets in 2016, this is a critical year for elephants and DSWF is encouraging Hong Kong’s Legislative Council Members to take a strong and vocal lead at the upcoming debate at the Hong Kong Legislative Council (LegCo) on March 27 to support expedited measures to ensure a full ivory ban in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong has drawn much attention as the city with the world’s largest legal ivory retail market, and as a key destination for ivory for poached elephants. As actions are increasingly being taken around the world to close domestic ivory markets and destroy stockpiles of seized and confiscated ivory, the world now looks to Hong Kong lawmakers to take urgent action to end the city’s ivory trade.

You can read the full letter submitted to Hong Kong’s Legislative Council Members and signed by 43 organisations here: Letter in support of Hong Kong ivory ban

Read and listen to the interview with CEO, Oliver Smith on RTHK here

For more on DSWF’s work to secure the long-term survival of elephants you can read more here

Ivory on sale in Hong Kong photo: IFAW
Ivory on sale in Hong Kong photo: IFAW