As we continue to action our voluntary policy and to campaign for the cessation of trade in rhino horn and elephant ivory, we are proud to share with you the recent blog post published on IFAW’s homepage. An important element of this campaign is to keep talking about it, so that it receives the exposure it deserves.
‘Our 2016 Under the Hammer report, which investigated the flourishing domestic trade in ivory and rhino horn in auction houses across Australia, put the spotlight on Leonard Joel as the country’s number one seller of ivory and rhino items. While we hoped to speak to the industry and work with them to implement voluntary bans, we never anticipated John Albrecht’s (CEO and Proprietor, Leonard Joel Auction House) passion and drive to do just that. In less than three months, IFAW and Leonard Joel had worked together to produce a working policy that saw rhino horn items immediately banned from sale and a strong commitment to phase out ivory sales from his business within two years.
As Australia’s premier auction house, Leonard Joel’s commitment to banning the sale of ivory and rhinoceros horn sends a clear message that the life of an elephant and rhinoceros is worth more alive than dead. Mr. Albrecht has moved from one of the premier sellers of rhino horn and ivory items, to now being one of the Auction industry’s greatest change makers.
International will to close domestic ivory markets is gaining increasing momentum – only a couple of weeks ago, the UK government announced its intention to pursue a ban on the sale of ivory and rhino on its domestic market. Australia is in danger of being left in the wilderness and not fulfilling its role as a Party to CITES. We are urging the Australia government to follow the example set by other countries around the world, with far larger domestic markets than Australia. Our recent polling has shown that a ban in the trade of ivory is a position overwhelmingly supported by Australians with 96 percent uninterested in buying these products when they understood an elephant (or rhino) was killed. If countries including China, the UK and the USA can ban domestic sales, if the Australian public does not oppose the Australian government taking such action, and if industry leaders such a Leonard Joel can see the benefits of changing its business practices, surely Australia’s policy makers can do the right thing and say NO IVORY IN AU!’
Rebecca Keeble, IFAW Regional Director, Oceania.