Three African countries that are home to the bulk of the continent’s elephants have signed a petition asking Britain and the rest of the EU to ban the legal trade in antique ivory.
At a wildlife summit in Botswana, the country’s president Ian Khama said a complete trade ban would help protect the remaining elephants.
He and the presidents of Uganda and Gabon have put their names to a global petition calling for the end of legal trade – such as that involving antique ivory. He criticised the US president Donald Trump for lifting a ban on hunting trophies saying he was “encouraging poaching”.
Thousands of African elephants continue to be killed by poachers every year despite international efforts to stop the trade in ivory. Botswana is the last sanctuary for the animals – half of Africa’s elephants are found here and just over its borders.
Many conservationists believe that the only way to save the last remaining elephants in Africa is to stop all trade in ivory.