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Action Taken to Stop the Illegal Trade in Live Asian Elephants

Action Taken to Stop the Illegal Trade in Live Asian Elephants

Campaigning to stop the illegal live trade in Asian elephants has for the last few years been a major focus for Elephant Family. Young, wild elephants are being illegally captured to supply a lucrative tourism trade in Thailand and once caught, calves are subjected to a horrific domestication process before winding up at elephant camps. For every wild caught calf that makes it alive into a camp, it is estimated that up to two others will die from this 'domestication' process, and as many as five others are killed during the capture.

An Assessment of the Live Elephant Trade in Thailand is a report released by TRAFFIC, the Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network earlier this year. Prepared on behalf of Elephant Family, it provides details of between 79 and 81 wild elephants that were illegally captured in the wild for sale into the tourist industry in Thailand between April 2011 and March 2013. Of 53 cases for which the origin of the elephants is known, 92% were captured in Myanmar. These reports have since been confirmed by Myanmar government, which has pointed out that unrest in their country has been exploited by smugglers.

A Significant Step Forward

At the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in Geneva this year, Elephant Family took the next significant step in stopping this horrific practice for good. As a result of our campaign, governments from around the world have agreed that urgent action must be taken to stop this horrific practice. CITES officials will now investigate how countries involved are tackling this issue, requiring them to do more.

This latest progress builds on our success last year, when the issue was first added to the key resolution on “Trade in Elephant Specimens”, which governs international efforts to protect both Asian and African elephants. This had previously focused almost exclusively on the illegal trade in ivory and how it is affecting African elephants, but now Elephant Family has firmly placed the Asian elephant on the agenda.

In conjunction with the Ecologist Film Unit and Link TV, Elephant Family launched an investigation into the brutal baby elephant smuggling practice. You can watch the report here.

written by Elephant Family on 07 October 14

Tags: Live Trade, CITES, Tourism, Geneva

The Elephant Information Network

The Elephant Information Network

As elephant habitat is sliced up by human activity, finding ways to prevent clashes between people and elephants is a rapidly growing problem.

Every day across Asia, one person and one elephant dies because of conflict between the two species. It is a battle that the Asian elephant will lose unless we find a solution that works for both sides. Elephant Family is looking for new and innovative ways to do just that.

We have been working with the Nature Conservation Foundation in southern India, who have introduced The Elephant Information Network using exciting new technologies. The Valparai Plateau is a patchwork of plantations and forest patches, and when elephants pass through, a chance encounter could prove fatal. This new system keeps people up to date on the whereabouts of elephants via text message, TV announcements and warning lights, and keeps the local community safe by giving them the information they need on elephant movements.

The system is so simple and it works. Last year, there were no deaths thanks to the network and it's now being adopted in many more places across India. 

Find out more about the project in this short film...

written by Elephant Family on 07 August 14


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