WASHINGTON, June 2, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Azzedine Downes, CEO of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) issued the following statement in response to the United States' final ivory regulations:
"We have come a long way from the days when an elephant's tusks were the only part deemed worth saving. These new U.S. federal ivory rules are a signal to the world that Americans accept our shared responsibility to protect wildlife, wherever it may roam.
The ivory trade is driving elephants toward extinction, but on top of that, it is also tied to corruption and organized crime, the murder of wildlife rangers by armed poachers and the swift decline of entire ecosystems in Africa and Asia. Since the U.S. is a major market for ivory, these federal rules help ensure we are no longer complicit in the problem but rather forthright in our efforts to be a part of the solution. Taking action here at home can help end the poaching crisis and protect the wildlife – and people – devastated by it.
There is still a long road ahead to make sure that consumers and businesses understand their responsibilities under the law, but IFAW commends the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for its hard work and commitment to creating a better future for this intelligent, social and awe-inspiring animal. While the rules are not perfect, they still put our nation in a position of strength in the lead-up to a crucial Parties to CITES, the international convention on wildlife trade.
In tandem with other national and state efforts to rein in wildlife trafficking, these new regulations are a key inflection point in the fight to halt the elephant poaching crisis.
At IFAW, we remain committed in our continued efforts, both in America and abroad, to stop the demand for ivory, prevent poaching and protect elephants across their range."
Learn more about IFAW's work to protect elephants.
About IFAW (the International Fund for Animal Welfare)
Founded in 1969, IFAW saves animals in crisis around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
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SOURCE International Fund for Animal Welfare