by Matthew McDermott
photo: Arno & Louise via flickr.
If you hadn't thought much about the illegal ivory trade, sit up an pay attention. According to figures from the International Fund for Animal Welfare, cited by The Telegraph, all 600,000 African elephants will be extinct within in a bit over 15 years at current rates of poaching. Though there's been an international ban in place on ivory sales for the past two decades some 38,000 elephants are stilled killed every year (104 every day!):
Because of this IFAW is calling on the EU and all CITES members to once again take strong action to curtail the ivory trade. The director of IFAW UK told The Telegraph,
Most people will be shocked to hear that...elephants in Africa are still threatened by commercial poaching. The ivory trade must be banned once again, and comprehensively, if we want to prevent the extinction of elephants.
In total, the illegal trade in animals throughout the world is valued at $20.5 billion annually.