Ottawa – Around the world, biodiversity is declining at an unprecedented rate. Since 1980, the number of elephants in Africa has fallen from 1.3 million to approximately 415,000—a decline of 70 percent, and rhinoceros populations continue to face threats to their survival. In recent years, there have been increased calls globally for countries to take further action to protect these species. Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, announced a stricter approach to trade for Canada that will further limit the ability to transport all elephant ivory and rhinoceros horn across Canadian borders.
These new, stricter measures will result in the prohibition of the import and export of raw elephant ivory and raw rhinoceros horn with very limited exceptions (i.e., where destined for a museum or zoo, use in scientific research, or use in support of law enforcement), and prohibit the import of elephant ivory and rhinoceros horn hunting trophies. Also, permits will now be required for household items and personal effects of worked elephant ivory and worked rhinoceros horn.
Canada adheres to its obligations on the trade of elephant ivory and rhinoceros horn under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), through a permitting system for imports, exports, and re-exports. In some instances, Canada already has stronger requirements than CITES, requiring additional permits. The new measures announced today demonstrate Canada’s commitment to protecting, conserving, and enhancing global biodiversity.
“Conserving and restoring biodiversity is an international challenge. The Government of Canada strongly opposes the illegal trade of wildlife globally. With the fast decline of African elephant populations and threats to rhinoceros populations due to poaching, Canada recognizes the importance of further limiting elephant ivory and rhinoceros horn trade to Canada. Stricter regulatory amendments announced today will ensure Canada continues to do its part to protect these iconic species for generations to come.” – Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change