Trade in live elephants from Zimbabwe - CITES statement

Sat Dec 20, 2014 7:19 pm

Trade in live elephants from Zimbabwe - Public statement of the CITES Secretariat

The Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) has received copies of various news articles, as well as other communications by private individuals and special interest groups, concerning alleged trade in live African elephants from Zimbabwe to destinations in China and the United Arab Emirates.

The Secretariat is issuing this public statement to explain the application of CITES to this trade, and to clarify the relevant procedures.

China, the United Arab Emirates and Zimbabwe are all Parties to CITES.

Permits and certificates for international trade under CITES can be issued only by the designated national CITES authorities of the 180 Parties to CITES. (Parties are States - or countries - that have joined the Convention.)

The CITES Secretariat does not issue CITES permits or certificates, and has no authority to directly intervene in any trade transactions.

Parties to CITES are required to report all authorized international trade in specimens of CITES species to the CITES Secretariat on an annual basis. These reports are included in the CITES Trade Database, which is publicly available.

The population of the African elephant (Loxodonta africana) of Zimbabwe is included in Appendix II of CITES, following a decision taken in 1997 by the Conference of the Parties to CITES. This means that the Parties to CITES consider the African elephant population in Zimbabwe is not necessarily threatened with extinction but could become so if trade were not strictly regulated.

There is an annotation to the Appendix-II listing of Zimbabwe's African elephant population that specifically allows for "trade in live animals to appropriate and acceptable destinations". The words “appropriate and acceptable destinations” are defined in Resolution Conf. 11.20 of the Conference of the Parties to CITES.

Therefore, international commercial and non-commercial trade in certain specimens of African elephants from Zimbabwe (including live animals) is allowed by the Convention if specified conditions are followed. These conditions are contained in relevant provisions of the Convention, particularly those of Article IV.

In addition to the requirements above, according to Article IV of the Convention, the CITES Management Authority of Zimbabwe may grant a permit to export live elephants only when:

a) it is satisfied that they were obtained in accordance with national law;

b) the CITES Scientific Authority of Zimbabwe has advised that the export will not be detrimental to the survival of the species; and

c) the CITES Management Authority of Zimbabwe is satisfied that any living specimen will be so prepared and shipped as to minimize the risk of injury, damage to health or cruel treatment.

Regarding the first requirement, the verification of the legal origin of the specimens is the responsibility of the Management Authority of the State of export, which must be satisfied that the specimens were not obtained in contravention of the laws of that State.

With respect to the second requirement, an assessment of the sustainability of export of Appendix-II species (known as a non-detriment finding) is conducted by the CITES Scientific Authority of the State of export. Reviews of the sustainability of trade in Appendix-II species are conducted by the relevant CITES scientific committees with the support of the Secretariat.

In relation to the third requirement, it is recommended in Resolution Conf. 10.21 (Rev. CoP16), on Transport of live specimens, that the Live Animals Regulations of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the CITES guidelines for the non-air transport of live wild animals and plants be deemed to meet CITES transport requirements.

The Secretariat has corresponded with the CITES Management Authorities of China, the United Arab Emirates and Zimbabwe to ascertain the particular circumstances surrounding the reported trade in live elephants. The Secretariat has also asked whether the procedures set out under Article IV of the Convention and Resolutions Conf. 10.21 (Rev. CoP16) and Conf. 11.20 were followed in relation to any trade.

The CITES Management Authority of China has advised that it has not received any application to import elephants from Zimbabwe.

The CITES Management Authorities of the United Arab Emirates and Zimbabwe have advised that they have authorized the export from Zimbabwe to the United Arab Emirates of seven elephants as a family group that has been in captivity in Zimbabwe for more than 10 years. The two Management Authorities advise that the group consists of one calf with its mother and other adults. The Management Authority of Zimbabwe has also advised that before the trade was authorized, a non-detriment finding was made in Zimbabwe. The authorities of both the United Arab Emirates and Zimbabwe advise that they conducted an inspection of the private park to which the animals will be sent, to ensure that it is an appropriate and acceptable destination. Copies of the inspection report and of the permits have now been provided to the CITES Secretariat at its request.

Some press articles refer to Mr Hank Jenkins, who is said to be a former official of CITES. Mr Jenkins was an employee of the CITES Management Authority of Australia, and was the Chair of the CITES Animals Committee from 1992 to 2000. He was never an official of the CITES Secretariat and has no association with the Secretariat.

CITES Secretariat

18 December 2014

Re: Trade in live elephants from Zimbabwe - CITES statement

Sun Dec 21, 2014 12:01 am

Worrying :X:

Re: Trade in live elephants from Zimbabwe - CITES statement

Thu Jun 25, 2015 11:59 am

Just posted on WAR's FB page (Wildlife at Risk International) regarding over 30 elephant calves that were taken from their mothers in Zimbabwe in December 2014.

UPDATE ZIM CALVES

All Nat Park staff have been dismissed. They were apparently sent away last Thursday. Place is out of bounds to everyone.

Everyone there is Chinese. They have their own vets.

Rehearsing loading elephants with hooks.

Lions already loaded in cages.

A last minute attempt at a rescue mission through new channel, keep your fingers crossed as the minutes are ticking away and loading is supposed to happen tonight.

Re: Trade in live elephants from Zimbabwe - CITES statement

Thu Jun 25, 2015 1:27 pm

The CITES Management Authority of China has advised that it has not received any application to import elephants from Zimbabwe.

0*\

Re: Trade in live elephants from Zimbabwe - CITES statement

Thu Jun 25, 2015 3:15 pm

If some do not follow the rules, all the others will follow and CITES is done and gone 0*\ 0= :evil:

Re: Trade in live elephants from Zimbabwe - CITES statement

Mon Jul 06, 2015 3:02 pm

Zimbabwe: Young elephants 'trafficked' to China

A wildlife saga that has sparked international outrage took a new twist yesterday when 24 elephant calves were flown from Harare to China.

They were among a group of 36 calves taken from their herds in Zimbabwe's flagship Hwange National Park and held at a holding facility since August.

Conservationists from across the world have staunchly opposed the capture and sale of the calves to zoos and safari parks in China, which have poor animal welfare records.

Johnny Rodrigues, director of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, said he was "gutted" after learning that the elephants were leaving Zimbabwe.

"Three of four baby Hwange elephants shipped to a Chinese zoo and a safari park in 2012 are no longer alive, and the fourth is suffering from depression and ill-health."

Rodrigues said he fears the latest shipment will form part of a mass sale of elephants and lions caught in Zimbabwe reserves to Chinese enterprises, including circuses.

"Our government is robbing us and our future generations, and China is plundering Africa's heritage ...

"The government must be held accountable. The facilities in China have shocking histories of animal abuse, and poor animal husbandry and veterinary care."

The loading for transport was under tight security enforced by military and national intelligence officials, out of sight of the public, at about 7am yesterday.

The Zimbabwean government, which is in huge debt to China and unable to pay Zimbabwe National Parks employees, has brushed aside criticism, saying that the animals must pay for themselves.

Re: Trade in live elephants from Zimbabwe - CITES statement

Mon Jul 06, 2015 3:33 pm

This story continues to make me sick @#$ O/ O/

Re: Trade in live elephants from Zimbabwe - CITES statement

Thu Jul 09, 2015 1:11 pm

Kidnapped Baby Elephants Complete Harrowing Journey To Their Cruel Fate

After being taken from their mothers and caged, at least 20 baby elephants were drugged and flown from Zimbabwe to China in extremely cruel traveling conditions, sources told The Guardian.

The babies, between the ages of 2 and 5 years old, were captured at Hwange National Park at a highly vulnerable time in their lives. Transporting elephants by air means they have to be heavily tranquilized so they don't move during the flight, according to Richard Ruggiero, Africa branch chief with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, who spoke to National Geographic.

But the horrendous plight of transport is probably not the worst of it for the elephants, who are reportedly destined for Chinese zoos.

"For elephants, being held captive for decades in a circus or in the majority of the world's zoos is gruesome, a fate worse than death," Joyce Poole, cofounder of Kenya-based Elephant Voices, told National Geographic late last year, when the plan to export the elephants first came to light.

Tragically, the fate of these elephants will likely be similar to that of eight baby elephants exported from Zimbabwe to China in 2012 and sold to the Taiyuan Zoo. Most have already died, and survival is full of pain. One elephant suffering from a swollen abdomen and a very bad skin rash is kept isolated behind bars, constantly rubbing his body against the walls of his concrete enclosure.

Some report that this latest shipment of elephants is likely bound for Chimelong Safari Park, where they will be forced to perform tricks to amuse tourists.

Unfortunately, figuring out how to stop cruel elephant captures and exportation gets into the complex nuances of international law, state sovereignty, legal authority and competing cultural values about how animals — like these elephant babies — should be treated.

Re: Trade in live elephants from Zimbabwe - CITES statement

Thu Jul 09, 2015 2:09 pm

@#$ @#$ @#$

Re: Trade in live elephants from Zimbabwe - CITES statement

Thu Jul 09, 2015 3:23 pm

"Our government is robbing us and our future generations, and China is plundering Africa's heritage ...


This phrase can be used in just about every African country today.