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Foreign Secretary pledges tough action on illegal wildlife trade

Foreign Secretary pledges tough action on illegal wildlife trade

11 Oct 2018

Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has pledged he will do "everything possible" to tackle the illegal wildlife trade.

In his speech, the Foreign Secretary drew attention to the drastic declines in vertebrate animals seen in recent years, particularly focusing on the African elephant which is poached for its ivory. He highlighted the recent UK action against the trade, including: a new British initiative to target traffickers in Africa and Asia by launching investigations and seize assets, the recent ban on domestic ivory sales, and a pledge to contribute £250 million to the United Nations Global Environment Facility by 2022.   

The Minister then pledged action to protect wild animals, saying:

"My aim is for Britain to do everything possible to protect wild animals for the sake of our grandchildren. If we failed to act, quite simply we would never be forgiven."

The pledge comes ahead of today's Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference in London. The conference will be attended by 80 countries who will discuss how to tackle criminal gangs, forming coalitions between sectors and countries, and closing illegal wildlife trade markets. 

Secretary of State for the Environment, Michael Gove, has also announced a new Ivory Alliance formed of politicians, conservationists and celebrities, dedicated to defeating the illegal trade in ivory.

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