International wildlife charity Born Free announced a ban has been passed to end the practice of capturing live wild baby and juvenile elephants in Zimbabwe and Botswana, for trade to zoos and circuses around the world.
The decision, made today (27th Aug 2019) at The UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in Geneva, saw the proposal – with some amendments negotiated between the EU and the proponents – pass comfortably despite major concerns just last week when the EU looked set to vote against the ban entirely.
Dr Mark Jones, Head of Policy at Born Free, said:
“After a long and sometimes acrimonious debate at the CITES meeting in Geneva, governments voted, by a majority of 87 in favour to 29 against, to ban the taking of live elephants from the wild from Zimbabwe and Botswana for export to captive facilities around the world except in exceptional circumstances. In the event, the European Union, which had originally opposed the restrictions, changed its vote following intensive negotiations to clarify a number of issues with the African countries that had originally proposed the ban.
“This progressive measure should help bring an end to the trade in young elephants, particularly from Zimbabwe, that are ripped from their families and shipped to zoos around the world where they are condemned to live shortened and often lonely and barren lives. Born Free has worked for a long time to bring this heinous trade to an end. We will continue to work with our partners in Zimbabwe and elsewhere to secure the greatest possible protection for Africa’s remaining wild elephants.”
“While this ban is a momentous achievement in itself, it still remains possible for exports to occur for ‘non-commercial’ purposes. The rules around this are complex but nevertheless, while there is more to do, we should celebrate this adoption of a very important principle, and a step towards bringing the global trade in wild-caught live elephants to a permanent end.”
Born Free needs your help
Born Free was founded by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, who starred in the movie classic, Born Free (1966), together with their eldest son, Will. Born Free’s mission is to ensure that all wild animals, whether living in captivity or in the wild, are treated with compassion and respect and are able to live their lives according to their needs. Born Free opposes the exploitation of wild animals in captivity and campaigns to keep wildlife in the wild.
Born Free promotes Compassionate Conservation which strives to enhance the survival of threatened species in the wild and protect natural habitats while respecting the needs of and safeguarding the welfare of individual animals. Born Free seeks to have a positive impact on animals in the wild and protect their ecosystems in perpetuity, for their own intrinsic value and for the critical roles they play within the natural world. For more information about Born Free please visit: www.bornfree.org.uk