By Paulina Lam
Comedian Ricky Gervais can be quite hilarious, but he can also talk serious — especially when it’s an issue concerning animal welfare.
Gervais, in support of London’s Metropolitan Police Service Wildlife Crime Unit, is calling on all residents to hand in any unwanted wildlife products they may be holding on to, including items made with rhino horn, ivory, or fur.
“This is an opportunity for Londoners to show their support and to protect animals from the illegal wildlife trade by giving away any unwanted items made from endangered species such as elephants, tigers and rhinos,” said Gervais.
The actor and comedian is a long-time animal activist. Gervais has urged Americans to end cosmetics testing on animals, and has spoken out about the torture of puppies in labs. He’s even encouraged people to celebrate a cruelty-free holiday season. Gervais is the ultimate animal lover in our book.
With his fame and popularity, the Metropolitan Police Service is hoping that the issue of illegal wildlife trade on endangered species will be spread throughout London and beyond.
“We are asking the public to take any unwanted items they may have bought over the years to their local police station so they can be destroyed or used to educate people about the illegal trade in animal parts and its impact on species in the wild,” said DC Sarah Bailey of the Wildlife Crime Unit. “By raising awareness and encouraging people to get behind this appeal we can potentially reduce the demand for these products.”
The move is a positive step towards combating the illegal wildlife trade and is in response to a February 2014 London conference held with 46 countries on tackling the issue.