A 2021 ban just encourages poachers to kill faster and maximize illicit profits
Hong Kong has bowed to international pressure and agreed to close its ivory markets. But the ban won’t be in effect until 2021. This four-year grace period could actually increase illegal ivory trade.
A distant target could lead to stockpiling, whereby poachers significantly increase elephant slaughter for traders who want to sell as much ivory as they can before the ban puts an end to their bloody profits.
Elephants need our full protection now. At current poaching rates, where nearly 100 elephants are killed a day, more than 146,000 could be slaughtered by 2021. And each time a mother elephant is killed, her dependent calves may die, too, wiping out two generations at once. Elephants have slow rates of reproduction with intervals of 3 to 6 years between births. Their regeneration rate averages 5 to 6 percent annually, compared to the 8 to 9 percent poaching rates, which is a net loss in population numbers.
We need the signatures of 40,000 wildlife advocates like you to send a strong message to Hong Kong: End ivory sales now!