A petition mounted by an Auckland schoolteacher has won the support of a powerful Select Committee and has moved the New Zealand closer towards a fully enforceable ivory trading ban.
The New Zealand Select Committee Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade announced on Friday that it supports the petition of Auckland schoolteacher Ms Virginia Woolf, which calls for a ban on all ivory trading within, to, and from New Zealand, and demands that all confiscated ivory held by the Crown be crushed.
“The Committee’s recommendation moves the New Zealand Government one step closer towards strengthening the laws and fixing the loopholes that currently enable some illicit ivory trading to occur in New Zealand,” says Bob Kerridge, Executive Director, SPCA Auckland.
Mr Kerridge is a signatory to an open letter to the Government supporting the petition, along with a number of prominent New Zealanders, including Sir Stephen Tindall and Rachel Hunter, plus globally renowned conservationists Dr Iain Douglas-Hamilton and Dr Jane Goodall.
“Only by uniting globally can we ever hope to see an end to the barbaric practice of the ivory trade and the likely extinction of the iconic African elephant. Their mutilated bodies haunt me and give me good reason to add my voice in condemnation,” says Mr Kerridge.
“Although New Zealand’s voice in the international arena may be small, our feelings over the needless slaughter of these beautiful animals is heartfelt and intense and must be heard.
“We call on our Government to stamp out whatever illegal trade in ivory exists in New Zealand, and send a clear message of support to the international conservation community by destroying all the stockpiled ivory currently held by the Crown.”