Care for the Wild is 30 years old this year, and has spent three decades trying to rescue, protect and defend wildlife. Like many others, we've fought hard to stop animals becoming extinct. Surely after all that time and effort, the battle should have been won by now? Apparently not.
The truth is that destroying works of art and trying to erase history isn't the answer... in itself. We cannot and should not attempt to erase history. What has happened has happened, but what is important is that we learn from history, use it to better ourselves, use it to remedy the issues that once presented themselves and that once burdened us and tarnished our names.
At 11am this Saturday, many hundreds of people are expected to descend on Portland Place, London. Close to the maddening crowds of Oxford Street, and within earshot of the BBC, they'll have chosen to do something a little more poignant and powerful on their weekend than a trip to TopShop.
China's ivory stockpile destruction was significant because it is the world's largest ivory marketplace. Ivory carving and sales are legal in China and this has provided a cover for the trade there. An estimated 30,000 African elephants were illegally killed last year for their tusks; at this rate, the remaining 400,000 African elephants will be wiped out in two decades.
Current human demand also extends to elephant meat. This is not just a local subsistence issue. Elephant meat bound for Fresno California was seized by Thai enforcement officials in May 2103 and is just one example of the international demand for this 'exotic flavour'.
Zac Goldsmith MP is calling on the UK government to release some of its billions of 'Foreign Aid' money to help stop the decimation of wildlife in developing nations. We at Care for the Wild helped to draft the wording of Zac's Early Day Motion (EDM) and fully support it, but why?
The amount of money now washing around Asia and the seemingly unquenchable demand there for ivory, particularly in countries such as Vietnam and China, has caused the price charged on the black market to soar. Indeed in many places ivory is now worth more per ounce than gold. The result has been an almost unprecedented slaughter on the savannahs. Some 100 elephants are being killed per day in Africa, and at present rates of poaching the surviving population in the wild risks being decimated within a decade. Chad had 15,000 elephants. Now it is 400.
We witness the terrible impact of the ivory trade in our work every day. Since 8 September, we have been called on to rescue 14 orphaned elephants in just 18 days. To date we have arrested 1,406 poachers and our veterinary teams have successfully treated over 500 wounded elephants.
So... what's the link? How did an ivory bracelet help cause this tragedy? How does dining with ivory chopsticks lead to the killing of pregnant women, families and children out shopping? The truth is that they are absolutely intrinsically linked.
Elephant poaching across Africa has reached an unprecedented high and now looks set to wipe out our beloved elephants from the planet in as little as 20 years. Some reports are now suggesting that up to 40,000 elephants are being killed for their tusks each year in Africa alone.