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3 years since #MelbourneCrush

It is hard to believe that on World Wildlife Day, 3 March, it will be 3 years since we hosted #MelbourneCrush in central Melbourne, Australia’s first ivory and rhino horn crush event, to demonstrate that the only value ivory and rhino horn has is on a living animal.

A massive thank you to those of you who attended the crush, knowing the years of work in achieving this ban, announced by Environment Minister Sussan Ley in August 2019. And of course the people who have helped in the process along the way.

So what are the States and Territories waiting for? Australia is complicit in the current poaching crisis whilst we allow the domestic trade to continue.

I’m in the process of sending the following letter to MPs and Minsters and I welcome you to do so too (even if you’ve sent them an email recently, please keep the pressure on).

Don’t let our work go to waste. 

During the 2018 Parliamentary Inquiry, then Lisa Singh – Former Senator grilled social media platforms for allowing ivory and rhino horn to be sold online. They assured her that they were working to ensure animal body parts were banned.

Please use any of the pics (or email me for more) and email Environment Minister Sussan Ley as well as your local MP and your State or Territory Environment Minister.
Environment Minister Sussan Ley – sussan.ley@aph.gov.au
VIC – Lily D’Ambrosio MP
lily.dambrosio@parliament.vic.gov.au
NSW –Matt Kean MP
office@kean.minister.nsw.gov.au
SA – David Speirs MP
minister.speirs@sa.gov.au
QLD – Meaghan Scanlon – Member for Gaven
environment@ministerial.qld.gov.au
NT – Eva Lawler MLA: Member for Drysdale
minister.lawler@nt.gov.au
WA – Stephen Dawson MLC
Minister.Dawson@dpc.wa.gov.au
TAS – Roger Jaensch MP
minister.jaensch@dpac.tas.gov.au


Dear Minister

It has been three years since For the Love of Wildlife Ltd hosted Australia’s first ivory and rhino horn crush event in Melbourne to demonstrate that Australia is complicit in the current poaching crisis whilst it allows the rampant, unregulated, domestic trade in elephant ivory and rhino horn.

The #MelbourneCrush event, with enormous celebrity support, highlighted how many Australians want the trade in ivory and rhino horn banned (most thought it had already been done), giving an opportunity for people who had items (inherited, gifted or purchased) to be able to demonstrate that the only value is on a living animal.

This event triggered a Parliamentary Inquiry to which we gave evidence, the final report recommending a full trade ban. In 2019, Australia (as a signatory) announced at CITES CoP 18 in Geneva that it would join other countries in closing the domestic trade in elephant ivory and rhino horn.

Given the time since the announcement, the trade is again reinvigorated with three posts (items of significant value) just in the last few weeks on Gumtree alone. Online trading platforms have stated they will stem the trade in wildlife products, yet despite contacting Gumtree there has been no response.


We are in a global extinction crisis and our inability to act swiftly does mean that traders are taking advantage of whatever opportunities are available.
I ask that you please elevate the urgency in implementing this trade ban so that we can fulfil our global obligations in preserving our most precious wildlife.

Please consider what you will tell your children when there are no elephants and rhinos? If we don’t stop the trade now, they will be gone within the next decade. The UK are now including a ban on a host of ivory including mammoth, whilst we haven’t moved in enacting the domestic trade ban.
I very much look forward to hearing how this can be enacted with a timeline for implementation.

If there’s anything further you require, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Donalea Patman OAM
Founding Director

A short video of one of our investigations

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4NNVxysPxY&t=9s

The Journey Home & Return To Earth

Melbourne Elephant Ivory and Rhino Horn Crush Epilogue

Donalea Patman, Founding Director, For the Love of Wildlife

 

For the Love of Wildlife has taken very seriously its commitment to the #MelbourneCrush and #NoDomesticTrade campaign. While the act of destroying elephant ivory and rhino horn items aims to show that the only value they have is on a living animal, importantly, we must consider that these items represent the death of thousands of elephants and rhinos.

#MelbourneCrush held in Bourke Street Mall, Melbourne on World Wildlife Day, 2018. Jason Wood MP destroying ivory surrendered by the Australian Government to be #Gone4Good.

Elephants are incredible creatures with strong social structures and personalities. Just like us, they have intricate family systems.  Rhinos are as ancient as time, yet there are just 27,000 rhinos left in the wild today. These sensitive beings are fast disappearing before our very eyes.

On Saturday 3 March 2018, Australia marked World Wildlife Day with a powerful message about the importance of these majestic animals, by destroying elephant ivory and rhino horn.

Understandably, we have being considering what the epilogue must be for the items being crushed.

A heart-felt invitation has been received from internationally celebrated artist and Founder of the Human Elephant Foundation, Andries Botha, for the crushed ivory and horn, of these elephants and rhinos, to take the journey home and be returned to the earth in the land that they were born. The crushed items will be buried beneath a bronze memorial Andries is creating to honour Dr Ian Player and his conservation partner, Magqubu Ntombela.

Dr Ian Player with his dear friend and conservation partner, Magqubu Ntombela.

Andries was a very dear and close friend of Dr Ian Player who passed in 2015. For the Love of Wildlife is both honoured and humbled by Andries’ invitation, for these elephants and rhinos to complete their journey home.

“It is, in my opinion vitally significant to bring the crushed rhino horn and elephant tusk home to the ancestral lands of these ancient creatures, where not only their bodies exist as essential components of our ecosystems, but where their ancestral presence and voices originate.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

I finish with a message from Andries.

We from the Human Elephant Foundation commend and support For the Love of Wildlife Ltd and the Australian supporters of the Melbourne Crush event.

It is critical that countries who are a part of the wildlife traffic economy take a courageous stand in support of wildlife that is now particularly vulnerable, as poachers, organised crime syndicates, corrupt governments and private and corporate business become more bold in their commodification of wild life products. It is imperative that we stand for these endangered animals. 

It is, in my opinion, vitally significant to bring the crushed rhino horn and elephant tusk home to the ancestral lands of these ancient creatures, where not only their bodies exist as essential components of our ecosystems, but where their ancestral presence and voices originate.

We are honoured to take custodianship of the crushed remains of these animals, to bury them beneath a monumental memorial sculpture soon to be erected to honour Magqubu Ntombela and Dr Ian Player, who saved the White Rhino from extinction in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, and to repatriate them to the land they belong to.

A maquette of the memorial.

Andries Botha, South African Sculptor and Founder, Human Elephant Foundation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We cannot stay silent whilst elephants and rhinos are brutally poached – their survival is in our hands.

An enormous thank you to internationally acclaimed designer Collette Dinnigan AO who knows just how important Africa’s wildlife is to its country, to its people. A true hero for wildlife, Colette’s commitment, hard work and passion has helped bring these extraordinary people together.

We cannot be silent and watch the brutal poaching crisis. Australia and New Zealand’s unregulated domestic trade allows for illegally trafficked items to be sold through our markets. Waiting for someone else to act isn’t a character trait of these extraordinary individuals.

All for the love of elephants and rhinos.