And, Brooke Darby, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, recently noted that, "Tens of thousands of elephants are indiscriminately slaughtered for their tusks each year across Africa, and thousands of heroic park rangers have laid their lives on the line to protect these wild animals. The illegal wildlife trade-including the illicit movement of elephant ivory-funds criminal organizations in Africa including terrorist outfits that weaken national security and threaten regional stability."
Born Free USA's Adam Roberts, Kate Dylewsky, and Rosalyn Morrison, along with Congressman DeFazio, Chelsea Clinton, Slash, Brooke Darby... and thousands upon thousands of other compassionate citizens across the country-across the world-are speaking out and calling for an end to the carnage.
And, with an estimated 35,000-50,000 elephants killed in Africa annually, the Obama Administration is speaking out, as well. It issued an Executive Order to set up an Advisory Council on Wildlife Trafficking in July of 2013, which was designed to increase interagency cooperation for combating wildlife trade. This momentous action set off a chain reaction of events and interest, both within the government and without. In fact, the sudden attention to poaching permeated every level of society: federal executive and legislative branches, state government, media, activist groups, and everyday citizens. One of the major outcomes of the Administration's focus was a National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking in February of 2014, which prompted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to develop new regulations restricting the commercialization of ivory. You can read some of the major events from this remarkable domino effect here.