Europe is 'fuelling ivory trade'
By Zoe Murphy BBC News.
Recently crafted ivory jewellery can be found with relative ease in Paris. Europe's thriving ivory retail market is threatening an increase in elephant poaching, conservationists have warned. More than 27,000 ivory products were found on sale in five major European countries where investigators went: the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain.
Global conservation groups Care for the Wild and Save the Elephants say an active ivory market spurs poachers on.
Elephant populations in Africa were halved in the 1980s, after more than 500,000 animals were slaughtered.Although the ivory trade has shrunk in Europe since the 1989 ban passed by the UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites), the groups' investigators found a worrying number of artefacts on sale. Barbara Maas, Care for the Wild German and UK markets now rival East Asian giants such as China and Japan, they claim. Their report also warned that all ivory, even if legally sourced, contributed to the slaughter of elephants. Care for the Wild's chief executive, Barbara Maas, said the trade in Europe was predominantly in old ivory.
"Although technically legal, we mustn't forget that every item represents a dead elephant."