Wednesday, June 11, 2014



Britain's Prince William and footballer David Beckham have launched a campaign to help stigmatise the buying of ivory and rhino horn.

"Our children should not live in a world without elephants, tigers, lions and rhinos. Enough is enough," Prince William said as he convened the United for Wildlife group, a coalition of global conservation groups.

"It is time to choose between critically endangered species and the criminals who kill them for money."

The sports-themed slogan - #WhoseSideAreYouOn - aims to highlight the slaughter of tens of thousands of animals a year that feeds the illegal trade. It is supported by a host of big names, including tennis player Andy Murray, Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton, cricketer Rahul Dravid and basketball ace Yao Ming, whose campaign against shark finning is credited with slashing consumption in China.

The United for Wildlife campaign set out its commitment to improve enforcement in February. The initiative launched on Monday is aimed at increasing public pressure on consumers of ivory and other illegal wildlife products.

"We knew we needed to do more to bring the illegal wildlife trade into the open," said Prince William. "It thrives because it is hidden, often invisible, making it easy for criminals to expand their violent greed. We wanted to find a way to show the world what was happening."

The slaughter of elephants, rhinos, tigers and other species has surged in the last decade, driven by a lucrative illicit trade estimated to be worth up to US$20 billion a year.

Only drugs, people and arms trafficking earn more for criminals. More than 1,000 rangers have been killed in the last decade and the corruption and violence accompanying wildlife crime takes a heavy toll on local communities. FULL STORY HERE

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