Big effort to stop ivory trade

20:33, Jul 20 2014
timaru elephant ivory birginia woolf fiona gordon john banks
ELEPHANT SOS: Virginia Woolf, left, with policy analyst Fiona Gordon who together worked with now former MP John Banks to make people aware of the plight of elephants by organising a petition and a compr4ehensive report.

Elephants and the ivory trade have now got something in common with South Canterbury.

Next week will see former Timaru Girls' High student Virginia Woolf waiting on the fate of her anti-ivory trade petition, signed by 4300 people from around the world, currently before the foreign affairs and trade select committee.

"They will be meeting to further discuss whether they will decided to either ‘shelve' and merely ‘file' the petition or decide to take the recommendations outlined in the petition for further consideration and discussion," Woolf said.

Woolf, who belongs to an international movement opposed to ivory trade, got involved two years ago after joining SOS Chad and is now trying to take measures to stop the poaching crisis which is decimating the African herds.

"The major players in ivory trading are China, the United States, Thailand, the Philippines and Japan though for the size of the country, New Zealand's involvement is also a matter of concern, which has been highlighted in Palmerston North based policy analyst Fiona Gordon's detailed and comprehensive report on ivory trading in New Zealand."

"The petition recommends tighter border controls and more stringent penalties for those caught trading illegally in ivory here. There is also a call for an ivory crush event of government stockpiled illegal ivory in line with international efforts."

The eyes of the world are closely watching the select committee decision-making process which will take place on July 24 over the petition and New Zealand's role in the ivory trading debate.

"You stop the demand, you stop the killing."


The Southland Times