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Animal Defenders International : Conservation & Wildlife : ADI supports US bill to curb illegal ivory trafficking

Animal Defenders International

 

Animal Defenders International

ADI supports US bill to curb illegal ivory trafficking

Posted: 1 October 2014. Updated: 4 June 2015

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Animal Defenders International is delighted to support efforts by Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-OR) to curb illegal ivory trafficking. The Targeted Use of Sanctions for Killing Elephants in their Range (TUSKER) Act, HR 5454, will require certain nations identified as being a “significant source or transit or destination point for illegal ivory trade” to “immediately terminate all illegal ivory trade into, out of, or within that country” or face trade sanctions.

The TUSKER Act aims to cut off what is a lucrative source of funding for criminal groups. A report from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to the United Nations Security Council warned about the “grave menace” posed by heavily armed and highly sophisticated gangs of wildlife traffickers in central Africa and their links to other criminal, even terrorist activity.

Congressman DeFazio said: “As many as 40,000 elephants were slaughtered in 2013 alone for their tusks and over 1,000 park rangers have been killed trying to protect endangered wildlife. The illegal wildlife trade funds the operations of gun, drug and human trafficking crime syndicates. It also funds extremely dangerous terrorist groups that threaten regional stability in Africa and national security in the United States. We need to choke off the access to the market. My legislation sends a strong message-- if countries permit this illegal trafficking, there will be economic consequences.”

The bill was named in honor of one of Kenya’s most beloved elephants, Satao, who had roamed the Tsavo East National Park. Satao was thought to be over 45 years old when he was brutally slaughtered this summer. Satao was a “tusker”, a term that describes an elephant with massive tusks; his tusks were so large he was easily identifiable, even from the air. The death of Satao was reported globally leading to worldwide condemnation.

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