Update: international ban on trade in live elephants


Born Free has welcomed today’s confirmation that the trade in live, wild-caught elephants for captive use has been banned.

The confirmation, voted on today, follows an initial vote last week at a major international meeting on wildlife trade taking place in Geneva, Switzerland.

Dr Mark Jones, Born Free’s Head of Policy, said: “After a long and sometimes acrimonious debate at the Geneva meeting, governments voted by a majority of 87 in favour to 29 against, to ban the taking of live elephants from the wild from Zimbabwe and Botswana for export to captive facilities around the world except in exceptional circumstances. In the event, the European Union, which had originally opposed the restrictions, changed their vote following intensive negotiations to clarify a number of issues with the African countries that had originally proposed the ban.

“This progressive measure should help to bring an end to the trade in young elephants, particularly from Zimbabwe, that are ripped from their families and shipped to zoos around the world where they are condemned to live shortened and often lonely and barren lives. Born Free has worked for a long time to bring this heinous trade to an end. We will continue to work with our partners in Zimbabwe and elsewhere to secure the greatest possible protection for Africa’s remaining wild elephants,” Dr Jones added.