Target: President Barack Obama
Goal: Thank the Obama administration for cracking down on blood ivory trafficking
The Obama Administration recently destroyed a 6-ton supply of ivory goods and artifacts as a demonstration of its intention to crack down on the international crime ring. Several animal welfare and environmental groups showed up in support, and hope that it will lead to the end of domestic ivory trade. Regardless of future outcomes, this is a strong statement about the future of the ivory trade on behalf of the government and deserves our gratitude.
The demonstration took place at a repository outside of Denver as part of a campaign started by President Obama to end the blood ivory trade. Blood ivory refers to any acquisition of ivory by means of slaughter or poaching. The 6-ton stockpile was worth an estimated 10 billion dollars. The ivory trade is often referred to as an addiction not only because of its value, but also because it isn’t actually illegal to own ivory, unlike drugs or weapons. It is a trade that has grown large enough to fund international crime organizations and terrorism, but little has been done about it because of the money it brings in.
Sadly, despite the fact that the United States has banned the import and export of ivory, domestic trade is still legal. All ivory that was brought into the country before 1989 can still be sold. While this ivory doesn’t directly cause any additional harm to animals, it does create a demand for more, which ultimately leads to more trafficking. The ivory trade has exploded over the last 5 years. Estimates indicate that more than 35,000 African elephants were slaughtered last year alone.
President Obama plans on destroying more stockpiles and developing better enforcement strategies to end ivory trafficking altogether. The ivory that was destroyed in the demonstrations will be donated and used as a monument to slaughtered elephants.
Please take a moment to sign the petition below and thank President Obama for going after poachers and working to end ivory trafficking. Hopefully this new campaign will lead to a complete ban of ivory sales in the United States.
Dear President Obama,
You recently announced your plan to crack down on poaching and blood ivory trafficking and demonstrated this intent by destroying a 6-ton stockpile of ivory that was being kept in Denver. Ivory trafficking has grown out of control over the last five years, killing more than 35,000 elephants last year alone.
Thank you for showing the world that this horrible industry will not be taken lightly. I hope your campaign is a successful one and we will also soon see an end to domestic ivory trade in the United States.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Helen Flamme via Flickr