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New EU Environment Action Programme neglects wildlife in crisis


By: International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)

BRUSSELS, Belgium, Nov. 29, 2012 - The new Environment Action Programme adopted today is a clear signal that the environment remains a priority for the European Union. However, the continued unsustainable use and abuse of wildlife calls for more urgent and drastic measures than those outlined in the programme according to the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW - www.ifaw.org). As an international animal welfare NGO with local expertise and projects from South Africa to Russia, from Australia to Canada, IFAW has first-hand and daily experience with the disappearance of wildlife.

"Last year more than 25,000 elephants were killed for their ivory, there are only 3,000 tigers left in the wild, prices for polar bear pelts have doubled and the number of skins up for auction has tripled (in the last five years)," said IFAW EU Director Sonja Van Tichelen. "Saving the environment can only be done in conjunction with a halt to the devastation of the world's most charismatic wildlife."

The first opportunity to stop the carnage of our wildlife will be the Conference on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) this March in Thailand. The EU is currently drafting the position for the Irish-led delegation.

"IFAW would like to see the EU meet with and work to support wildlife law enforcement officials at the CITES conference. This support would strengthen law and order in developing countries, punish those who seek to profit from the demise of a species or animal and stop the loss of our shared biological heritage," continued Van Tichelen.

40 years of environmental policy at an EU level have accomplished a great deal but much remains to be done. Unsustainable trends in biodiversity and the use of natural resources must be confronted directly and soon.

Founded in 1969, IFAW saves animals in crisis around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


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