For the Love of Wildlife has been working with its collaborative partners NatureNeedsMore and Gordon Consulting for the past two years, investigating Australia’s domestic trade in ivory and rhino horn.
Africa’s iconic elephants and rhinos are facing crisis with one elephant killed every 15 minutes for its tusks and one rhino every eight hours for its horn. At this rate experts are predicting they could be extinct in the next 10 years.
Australia’s trade in ivory and rhino horn provides opportunity for items from recently killed elephants and rhinos to be sold through our markets. The demand (in any country) is driving the brutal killing spree. Alarmingly, there are no checks and balances in Australia’s unregulated trade to prevent items from recently killed elephants and rhinos being sold in our own backyard.
How we have tried to stop this brutal trade in Australia.
In September 2016 we met with Energy and Environment Minister, Josh Frydenberg with a communique calling for a full domestic trade ban. The response from the government was that the trade in Australia isn’t contributing to the poaching crisis and our laws, regulations and processes are sufficient to ensure this isn’t the case. The communique was signed and supported by 56 Australian and international organisations. This warranted immediate action.
It wasn’t enough.
Part of the Federal Government’s response was that the issue of domestic trade and enforcement rests with State governments, not Federal. So we wrote to the Environment Ministers for each state to ask them. As we expected, the responses stated that the domestic trade is indeed a Federal Government responsibility. This also warranted immediate action.
It wasn’t enough.
We then called on members of the Australian public to write letters and upload images to social media to demonstrate their support for stopping this brutal trade and do our part in stopping the poaching crisis.
All of the people we spoke to were genuinely shocked that it’s still legal to buy and sell ivory and rhino horn in Australia, and believe that it should be banned. Hundreds of letters were sent to Minister Frydenberg’s office and hundreds of photos were uploaded to social media. This demonstrated strong support from the public for a domestic trade ban.
This wasn’t enough.
In August 2017 a workshop was held with key stakeholders working with a Federal MP to share our findings and the evidence we’d collected. Following the workshop we provided the Department of Environment and Energy with draft legislation for a domestic trade ban. We’ve heard nothing back from the government on this draft.
It wasn’t enough.
We rallied the public on World Wildlife Day – Saturday 3 March 2018 – and hosted Australia’s first ivory and rhino horn crush event in Bourke Street Mall, Melbourne. The event was attended by Federal MP Jason Wood to show the world that the only value ivory and rhino horn has is on a living animal. Hundreds of people came to show their support with people surrendering items they had bought, been gifted or inherited from family members, for crushing.
Internationally applauded designer Collette Dinnigan AO was event Ambassador and the call for a domestic trade ban gained overwhelming support from high profile individuals including Aussie rock legend John Farnham, actress Asher Keddie, Dr Jane Goodall and former NZ Prime Minister, Helen Clark.
The Melbourne Crush received attention from a variety of media including 7 News, The Age, ABC, National Geographic and international agencies.
This STILL wasn’t enough.
On 28 March 2018, the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Law Enforcement initiated an inquiry into the trade in elephant ivory and rhino horn.
We must make sure this is enough.
This is the last window to make sure the Australian Government hears your loud and clear call for a full domestic trade ban on ivory and rhino horn.
If you feel passionately about this, and we know you do, then we ask that you write and include your voice in the submission process. Take action and be part of doing something real to stop the brutal slaughter of elephants and rhinos through a submission for this inquiry. It’s time this ugly trade is #Gone4Good.
We MUST have an overwhelming response so that there’s NO question that Australia enacts a FULL DOMESTIC TRADE BAN.
What will it take?
You can lodge your submission here: https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Joint/Law_Enforcement/Elephantivoryrhinohorn
The Government has evidence to act. Whilst they go about “business as usual” we are watching elephants and rhinos disappear before our very eyes.
We also encourage you to call Prime Minister’s office on (02) 9327 3988 (International callers +61 2 9327 3988) and Minister for Energy and Environment, Josh Frydenberg at either his electoral office on (03) 9882 3677 (International +61 3 9882 3677) or Ministerial office (02) 6277 7920 (International +61 2 6277 7920) TODAY.