MEPs call for EU-wide ban on ivory trade


New Europe

Date Published

The European Parliament passed a resolution on September 15 that calls
for a European Union-wide ban on trade in ivory in efforts to help
curb demand of wildlife trafficking – now the fourth largest black
market. The resolution sets out MEPs’ priorities for the 17th
Conference of Parties to the Convention on International Trade in
Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, which will be held in
Johannesburg on September 24-October 5.

According to a European Parliament press release, the EU will attend
for the first time as a party to the convention.

The resolution, which passed by a show of hands, outlines
recommendations for key items on the agenda of the conference. The
EU’s accession to the CITES convention opens the way for EU-wide
measures to tackle wildlife trafficking.

MEPs on September 15 argued that strong and effective anti-corruption
measures are essential to fight wildlife trafficking, as corruption
plays a part at every stage in the wildlife trade chain. They also
called on EU member states to adopt legislation to curb this trade, by
making it illegal to import, export, sell and buy wild animals or
plants possessed in violation of the law of the country or origin or

In particular, the EU should ban the export and import of ivory and
prohibit all commercial sales and purchases of ivory within the EU,
said MEPs. Only Germany, France and the Netherlands have banned the
export of raw ivory to date.

As regards the market for exotic pets, MEPs called on EU member states
to agree on a “positive list” of exotic animals that may be kept as
pets. In effect, this would ban the keeping of unlisted species.

MEPs Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy (ALDE, NL) and Catherine Bearder (ALDE, UK)
will participate in the Johannesburg conference from 23 to 25