Namibia proposes to sell live elephants.
Following alarming news in December that Namibia intends to sell at least 170 live elephants to unknown destinations, David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF), alongside 60 other wildlife organisations, have written to the Namibian authorities calling on them to abandon their plans. The letter is backed by leading scientists and veterinarians from across the world.
The Namibian government has justified this controversial sale as a result of drought and increasing human-wildlife conflict in the country believing that the sale of these elephants will reduce pressures on remaining elephant populations.
In the letter, DSWF and colleagues highlighted that such sales will not achieve the desired outcomes. Moreover, that the capture and relocation of elephants could have extremely harmful impacts on the health and welfare of the elephants concerned, the stability of their wider societies, and the health of the ecosystems of which they are an integral part of.
DSWF believes that the proposed sales will have little conservational benefit. Furthermore, there is no indication of where these elephants will be sold to which poses a risk of exportation to areas unfit to cater to their basic needs. A full version of the letter from the coalition can be found here.
Extract from letter:
“When removed from their herds, individual elephants, or even small family groups, can suffer extreme stress, particularly if they are transferred to captive environments. Believing there to be no direct benefit for in situ conservation of African elephants, the African Elephant Specialist Group of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Survival Commission (SSC) does not endorse the removal of African elephants from the wild for any captive use”