BRUSSELS, Belgium (18 May, 2017) – WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) released a statement in response to the European Commission’s announcement of new measures related to ivory and wildlife trafficking.

The following statement was released by WCS President and CEO Cristián Samper:

“We appreciate and applaud the European Union’s commitment to stopping the trafficking of illegal wildlife products, especially ivory, which is leading to the rapid decline of many threatened species. Its support for the work of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) will help enforce and implement the agreements that are established to safeguard some of the most vulnerable species in the world.

“The announced ban on the export of raw ivory is a step in the right direction; however it must be considered an interim step toward a more complete ban on the EU ivory market. We encourage the European Union to follow the lead of China, the United States and other countries which have decided to implement a domestic ban on ivory trade. This is the only way we can stop the worldwide trafficking in ivory and poaching of elephants.

“We look forward to working with the European Commission to strengthen its anti-trafficking measures in the future.”