WCS EU has issued the following statement from Arnaud Goessens, EU Policy Manager:

“WCS EU applauds the Belgian Senate for passing Resolution 6-469/1, which calls on the European Commission to urgently implement a general trade ban in elephant ivory and rhinoceros horns throughout the European Union (EU).

“In recent months, momentum has been growing for a strong domestic ban on ivory trade within the EU. Several European governments have been taking individual action and going beyond current EU rules on the domestic EU ivory market which they consider to be insufficient. Last December, the Government of the United Kingdom passed the 2018 Ivory Act, which is now one of the strongest laws in the world regarding the closure of a domestic ivory market. Luxembourg also enacted a national ivory ban in July 2018.

“The European Parliament has called for an EU-wide domestic ivory ban in several Resolutions in the past few years, heeding the call from the majority of African elephant range states to put a final end to elephant ivory markets and raise the chance of recovery for this iconic species.

“The continuation of legal domestic ivory markets creates a loophole that is used to launder trafficked ivory. The poaching of elephants will thus continue as long as there are open markets for their ivory.

“We commend Belgian Senators for their leadership and appreciate the broad political support for this Resolution.

“With a decision looming, we urge other EU Member States to also call on the European Commission to close the EU domestic ivory market and enact the strongest ban possible.”

WCS EU: The mission of WCS EU, based in Brussels, is to save wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. To achieve our mission, we draw upon the Wildlife Conservation Society’s field expertise and experience to identify, formulate, and articulate policy positions on issues such as wildlife trade and wildlife trafficking, integrating the conservation of wildlife and wild places into the European Union’s development aid programmes, and sharing this information with decision-makers. Visit: brussels.wcs.org. Follow: @WCSBrussels. For more information: agoessens@wcs.org.