Elephants killed for their skin
In 2016, 421kg of elephant skin was seized in Southwest China. The haul, along with multiple sightings of elephant skin in Myanmar, confirmed a devastating trade.
Cut into pieces the skin is sold on the black market, ground down to powder and promoted as a medicinal cure or, as Elephant Family investigations discovered, turned into beads for jewellery. Asian elephants are struggling to survive, they have lost 90% of their habitat in the last century – now they are being ripped from the wild for the tourist trade and their skin.
Our new report SKINNED: The growing appetite for Asian elephants – published on April 24, 2018 – exposes the rise in poaching to feed this developing form of transnational wildlife crime, and those who are trading, promoting and profiting from elephant skin products. Following the trade chain from the forests of Myanmar into China, the report highlights worrying evidence indicating that skin products are being licensed for pharmaceutical use.
Our intention is not to apportion blame but to turn the spotlight onto the escalation of this crime and to call for the collaboration of governments, civil society and the wider public to tackle the issue before it threatens the survival of Asia’s elephants. You can read the report launch press release here.
STEP 1: Create Awareness
We released an undercover video at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species in Johannesburg in September 2016. We released our report on the trade supply chains - SKINNED: The growing appetite for Asian elephants - in April 2018 reaching a global audience via the world's media and over 100 Asian elephant experts at the Asian Elephant Specialist Group meeting in Bangkok.
STEP 2: Gather Evidence
Fund continuing undercover investigations to establish the full extent of this abhorrent trade and how to stop it.
STEP 3: Foster international collaboration to solve this issue
Collaborate with UK and Asian governments and the conservation community at upcoming conferences and meetings (CITES SC70, IWT London and CITES CoP18 in 2019) to ensure that the measures to help prevent the elephant skin trade are written into law by the CITES standing committee and to assist Asian elephant range states to implement the regulations once they have been passed.
STEP 4: Protect Elephants
Fund anti-poaching patrol teams in Myanmar for 2 years and develop a DNA registration database in China and Myanmar to ensure that wild elephants are not smuggled into the captive elephant industry for tourism.
Read further information on this abhorrent trade here
What you can do
There are a number of ways you can help:
Donate now and help Elephant Family stop skin becoming the next ivory.