By Vincent Moss
The European Commission will step up the fight against poachers in Africa and in Europe following pressure from Sunday Mirror and Euro MPs
A crackdown on the illegal trade in ivory and rhino tusks is being planned by EU chiefs in a victory for the Sunday Mirror’s campaign to protect vulnerable animals.
The European Commission action plan will step up the fight against poachers in Africa and in Europe where a kilo of smuggled ivory can be sold for thousands of pounds.
The decision to act follows pressure from the Sunday Mirror and Euro-MPs led by Lib Dem Catherine Bearder.
EU officials have told her moves to take on the poachers will be outlined this year.
Mrs Beader, who is backed by 81 other Euro MPs, said: “I’m delighted. At the moment the poachers are winning the war but by acting together Europe can turn the tide.
“We have a duty to end this senseless slaughter and help iconic species such as elephants and rhinos survive.”
The Born Free Foundation, which runs anti-poaching patrols in West Africa, said the move was a vital step in addressing Europe’s role as a transit point and destination for illegal wildlife parts and products.
Latest figures show 550,000 endangered rhinos have been slaughtered in South Africa alone this year. Video.