Major Victory! Canada Bans The Trade Of Elephant Ivory & Rhino Horn In Historic Decision

The Canadian government has just announced a ban on the domestic trade of elephant ivory and rhino horn, as well as the import of hunting trophies containing these parts. The landmark measures fulfill a 2021 Ministerial mandate which is a critical step in protecting these iconic species from extinction in the wild.

The important move follows a seven-year campaign by Humane Society International/Canada and has overwhelming support from leading conservationists, animal protection groups, African nations, and notable Canadians.

The African elephant population has declined by 96% over the last century, with scientists warning that they, as well as many rhinoceros species, could become extinct within the next few decades in the absence of global intervention to disincentivize poachers.

Horrifically, as many as 25,000 elephants and 1,300 rhinos are killed at the hands of poachers in Africa every year. In March 2021, the IUCN updated its Red List of Threatened Species and declared the African forest elephant to be Critically Endangered and the African savanna elephant to be Endangered. Black rhinos, found in Africa, are classified as Critically Endangered.

With this announcement, the United States’ neighbor to the North is doing its part to combat the $20 billion illegal wildlife trade worldwide that pushes many iconic animals to the brink of extinction while increasing global instability.

“Our government is committed to protecting, conserving, and enhancing the world’s biodiversity, including reversing the global decline in elephant and rhinoceros populations,” said Steven Guilbeault, minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada. “By strengthening Canada’s response to wildlife trafficking, we will enforce practical solutions that effectively address the illegal ivory trade and support species conservation. Canadians overwhelmingly support stricter controls and the Government of Canada is delivering.”

“Elephant and rhino populations have been decimated by global trade in their parts, and poaching causes considerable suffering to these incredible animals,” said Kelly Butler, campaign manager for HSI/Canada. “In banning trade in elephant ivory and rhino horn, the Canadian government has shown considerable leadership and reflected the will of Canadians and the vast majority of African nations holding elephant populations. At last, Canadians can rest assured that our country is doing our part to ensure these majestic animals have a future.”

“As a conservationist working on the ground in Kenya, I have seen firsthand the devastating effects of poaching and trophy hunting on African elephant and rhino populations,” said Dr. Winnie Kiiru, Kenyan biologist and leading elephant conservationist. “We need countries around the world to act now in order to protect these amazing animals, and Canada’s actions send an important message: ivory belongs to elephants.”

“As a long-time animal advocate, I am thrilled that Canada has listened to the overwhelming number of Canadians who demanded action to end the senseless killing of elephants and rhinos. The policies enacted by the Canadian government set a powerful precedent for countries around the world to join the fight to protect elephants and rhinos,” said musican Bryan Adams, an Order of Canada recipient.

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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