World Wild Fund (WWF) Hong Kong Wednesday urged the government to ban the domestic trade of elephant ivory ahead of a legislative council debate on the motion calling for a total ban.
The ultimate goal was to put an end to the trading of ivory, other endangered wild animals and their products in Hong Kong, Quat said, “This is the only way to stop killing (of wild animals).”
She added that the situation of killing of elephants was severe and hoped the government would realize that lawmakers and the public were for the ban of such trading.
Before the debate, WWF Hong Kong showcased a model of an elephant without tusks, pictures of a killed elephant and slogans including “say no to ivory products”, “buying is killing” to petition the lawmakers to vote for the motion.
According to WWF Hong Kong, the population of elephants has declined from up to 5 million in 1900s to less than 470,000 today; over 30,000 were killed every year primarily for their tusks to supply to Asian markets, with Hong Kong being the world’s largest retail market of ivory products.
Hong Kong’s Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department has announced earlier 10 new measures to curb the illegal trade, which, however, WWF Hong Kong said, was not strong enough to eradicate the problem. It called for a more urgent response in the form of a ban on ivory.