The Greens are calling on the Turnbull government to follow the lead of the British government in banning all ivory sales.
Greens animal welfare spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said. “Elephants and rhinoceroses are now in danger of extinction with the illegal trade in ivory and rhino horns contributing to the rapid decline in these animals.
“It is unthinkable that these iconic species could be extinct in the wild in current lifetimes.
“The planet has lost 50% of its Asian elephants in just three generations, with 90% of African elephants lost in the past century. Every 26 minutes an elephant is being cruelty slaughtered for its tusks, and a rhinoceros is poached
every seven hours for its horn.
Queensland Greens Senator and spokesperson for the Environment, Andrew Bartlett said “Most of us would be surprised to learn that the domestic sale of ivory is legal in Australia.
“In 2016 an investigation by the International Fund for Animal Welfare found nearly 3,000 ivory items and 13 rhinoceros items sold in auction houses in NSW and Victoria alone.
“Australia should join China, the United States, Britain and the EU and move to close down domestic ivory markets.
“The new parliamentary inquiry into Australia’s domestic trade in ivory and rhinoceros horn is a start, but it could be a delaying tactic and a case of too little too late.
“Nonetheless I urge submissions to be made to the inquiry by 7 June.
“All Australians would agree that the loss of wild elephants and rhinoceroses is tragic and expect their government to follow the UK’s lead on banning all sales of ivory.
“Animal welfare NGOs that i’ve met with like IFAW have worked tirelessly to draw attention to this issue, it’s now time for our government to listen.
· UK announcement: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-confirms-uk-ban-on-ivory-sales
· Senate Inquiry into the Trade in elephant ivory and rhino horn: https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Joint/Law_Enforcement/Elephantivoryrhinohorn
· IFAW Report - Under the Hammer: https://www.ifaw.org/australia/resource-centre/under-the-hammer
· For the Love of Wildlife: http://fortheloveofwildlife.org.au/world-wildlife-day-melbourne-crush/