On 30th April 2016, in Nairobi, Kenya, Minister Ségolène Royal participated in a meeting led by the President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, which eradicated the trade of ivory. This initiative aimed to fight against elephant poaching, together with the African States. Ségolène Royal then announced the ban of the ivory trade in France, except for extreme circumstances, and wants to extend this measure across Europe.
Article L. 411-1 of the environmental code establishes that:
When (…) it is necessary to conserve natural heritage (…) it is forbidden to transport, peddle, use, put on the market, sell or purchase living or dead animals (…)
A Decree proposal was then drafted focusing on the end the trade of ivory from elephants and the horn of the rhinoceros. Unfortunately, article L. 411-2 4 ° e) of the code specifically mentions that “exemptions may be granted to allow the possession of a limited and specified number of specimens, under strictly controlled conditions, selectively, and to a limited extent”. There are also exemptions to the Decree, allowing the trade of “works of art” dating before 1975, which represents the bulk of ivory marketed in French territory.
Maintaining a commercial activity around ivory and around the horn means maintaining the demands on the market and it goes against the essential and urgent need to end the cycle of poaching.
You will find the proposed Decree on the ministry’s website, which you can share, download, and leave comments. The consultation of the Decree is available from June 9th until July 3rd, 2016. Take advantage of this opportunity to interact directly with the ministry.
The more of us there are that come together and take action, the quicker we will be able to put an end to the ivory trade, affecting elephants and rhinoceros. These species are deeply threatened, and poaching is a real plague against which the whole world has to fight. Several countries have already put an end to poaching, so let’s all follow their example.
Follow this link to reach the Ministerial decree and send your comments.