HARARE, Zimbabwe, June 19 1997 - The world's largest land animal, the African elephant suffered a major setback today following a critical vote at a United Nations sponsored Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). The vote will lift a ten year old ban on the trade in ivory and pro-trade forces led by lobbyists working for Japan, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia regard the results of the secret vote as a victory for the "sustainable use of wildlife".

 

However their actions were harshly criticized by The Humane Society of Canada which is attending the meeting as an accredited observer. "There are no controls in place to prevent the unchecked slaughter of elephants and the traffic in illegal ivory which led to the ban in the first place. With a total of 138 nations as signatories CITES was once regarded as perhaps the most important international treaty in the world combining a unique blend of science and compassion for wildlife," said Michael O'Sullivan, Executive Director of The Humane Society of Canada.

 

CONTACT: Michael O'Sullivan by toll free 1-800-641-KIND or Michael on his cell phone (416) 876-9685 or at www.humanesociety.com via twitter at www.twitter.com/HSCanada and on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Humane-Society-of-Canada/211468055538280

[For more than 17 years, Al Hickey was the Chief Executive of the BC SPCA and before that headed up the Alberta and BC Chambers of Commerce, and was the Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Vancouver. He has been The HSC Western Regional Director for over 12 years. He has 4 children and 6 grandchildren. For his lifetime of achievement dedicated to helping people, animals and the environment, we have bestowed upon him our prestigious Heroes for Animals Award, shared by only a handful of people and organizations.

A father with two children, and a houseful of dogs and cats, Michael O'Sullivan has worked across Canada and in over 110 countries during the last 40 years helping people, animals and nature.]

The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) works to protect dogs, cats, horses, birds, rabbits and small animals, livestock, lab animals, wildlife and the environment. We carry out hands on programs to help animals and nature, mount rescue operations, expose cruelty through hard hitting undercover investigations, work to pass laws to protect animals, use a multidisciplinary approach, support animal shelters and wildlife rehabilitation centres, and spread the word about how to help animals and nature through humane education.

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