Dedicated to creating a peaceful future for elephants in Southern Tanzania, and beyond

Letter presented to UK Prime Minister

The letter below, co-signed by STEP, was delivered to PM David Cameron at 10, Downing Street earlier this month, by our friends at Action for Elephants UK. The message to Mr. Cameron: Ban All Ivory Trade in the UK. We are still waiting for a reply…

Photographs of the event can be seen at the following link:!



Dear Prime Minister,


Our group Action for Elephants UK and the undersigned are writing to appeal to you to ban all trade in ivory in the UK, as promised in the Conservative Party’s election manifesto in 2010 and reiterated in its 2015 manifesto.


Action for Elephants UK is a grass-roots advocacy group dedicated to raising awareness and taking action on behalf of elephants both in the wild and captivity. In particular, we are working to end the elephant poaching crisis and ivory trade. Our group has grown rapidly since it was founded in 2013, reflecting the increasing public concern for the ongoing poaching crisis that is decimating elephants in the wild.


It is estimated that upwards of 35,000 elephants continue to be slaughtered for their ivory every year. At this rate of poaching, the two species of African elephants (savannah and forest) could disappear from the wild within a generation. The window of opportunity for saving them is rapidly shrinking. As you are aware, the most significant way that elephants can be saved from extinction is by ending consumer demand for ivory and closing down domestic ivory markets, everywhere.


At present a legal ivory trade exists in the UK. Within the EU, the UK is one of the largest markets for ivory; the UK sells significant amounts of ivory on online marketplaces. Any legal trade enables and encourages illegal trade in ivory, while continuing to perpetuate the cycle of supply and demand.

Further, it makes it more difficult to urge China to adopt an ivory ban if the UK and other western countries have failed to do the same.


In the 5 years since the Conservative Party committed to ending ivory trade in 2010, elephant numbers have crashed in what has become the worst poaching crisis ever. Between 2010 and 2012 over 100,000 elephants were brutally slaughtered for their ivory. Tanzania alone has lost 60% of its elephant population, and Mozambique around half. The trade is fuelled by organized criminal syndicates and widespread corruption, and terrorist groups are also involved in, and partly funded by, poaching and trafficking.


In 2014, the US government announced federal initiatives to ban ivory, and in July 2015 President Obama proposed new regulations that would virtually eliminate all ivory trade in the US. In February 2015, China imposed a 1-year ban on the import of carved ivory, and in May announced it would ‘take measures to strictly control its ivory trade until eventually halting commercial processing and the sale of ivory and its products’.


Now is the time for the UK to join the global momentum and for the government to turn its promise to ban all ivory trade into long overdue action.


Prime Minister, on behalf of all concerned citizens in the UK, we respectfully appeal to you to honour your pledge and commit the UK to ending all domestic trade in ivory once and for all.


We thank you for your attention and consideration.


Yours sincerely,


Action for Elephants UK


And we, the undersigned:


Rosemary Alles

Co-founder, March for Elephants, San Francisco CA


Damian Aspinall

Chairman, The Aspinall Foundation


Mike Baker

Chief Executive, World Animal Protection


Claire Bass

Executive Director, Humane Society International UK (HSI UK)


Sport Beattie

Game Rangers International


Sarah Blaine

CEO and Founder of Mahouts Elephant Foundation


Scott Blais

Co-founder, Global Sanctuary for Elephants


Richard Bonham

Co-founder & Director, Big Life Foundation


Rob Brandford

Director David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust iworry Campaign


Dame Daphne Sheldrick D.B.E

Chairman David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust


Carol Buckley

Founder, Elephant Aid International


Reute Butler

President, Friends of Conservation US


Jorie Butler Kent

Founder and Chairman, Friends of Conservation


Amanda Bleasby
Operations Director,
Friends of Conservation UK


Julie Callahan

Co-founder, March for Elephants, Santa Cruz CA


Nicky Campbell

TV and radio presenter


Salisha Chandra

Founding member – Kenyans United Against Poaching – KUAPO Trust


Stefano & Liz Cheli

CEOs, Cheli & Peacock Safaris and the C&P Community Trust


Katherine Connor
Founder and CEO Boon Lotts Elephant Sanctuary


Core Organizers

The Global March for Elephants and Rhinos


Ian Craig

Director of Conservation, The Northern Rangelands Trust


Brian Davies

Network for Animals


Arend de Haas
Co-founder & Director, African Conservation Foundation


Iain Douglas-Hamilton CBE

Founder and CEO, Save the Elephants


Lee Durrell

Honorary Director, Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust


Dr Keith Dutlow

Trustee and Director, AWARE Trust Zimbabwe


Dominic Dyer

CEO Badger Trust & Policy Advisor Born Free Foundation


Dr Kate Evans

Founder & Director, Elephants for Africa


Peter Fearnhead

CEO, African Parks


Sudarshani Fernando

Co-founder & Facilitator, Sentinels Against Wildlife Crime (SAWC)


Ricky Gervais

Writer and producer


Jane Goodall PhD DBE

Founder the Jane Goodall Institute & UN Messenger of Peace


Dr Max Graham

Founder & CEO Space for Giants


Raabia Hawa
Executive Director,
Ulinzi Africa Foundation& Founder of Walk With Rangers Initiative


Stephanie Hilbourne OBE

Chief Executive, The Wildlife Trusts


Liz Hosken

Director, The Gaia Foundation


Sujeewa Jasinghe

Co-founder & Director, Centre for Eco-cultural Studies (CES)


Stanley Johnson

Author and conservationist


Dr Trevor Jones

Director, Southern Tanzania Elephant Program


Paula Kahumbu, O.G.W
Chief Executive Officer, Wildlife Direct


Max and Josh Kauderer

Founders, Elephant Highway


Alan Knight OBE

CEO, International Animal Rescue


Peter Knights
Executive Director, WildAid


Hussein Lalani

Former CEO, 99p Stores


James Littlewood

Director, Natural History Society of Northumbria


Joanna Lumley OBE


Philip Mansbridge

Director, UK – International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)


Struan McDougall
Chief Executive, Cambridge Capital Group


Virginia McKenna OBE Hon Dr Science

Founder, Born Free Foundation


Will Travers

President, Born Free Foundation


Kate Moore

Programmes Manager, Lilongwe Wildlife Trust


Dr. Ciaran Mundy and Dominic Neate

Trustees, One World Wildlife


Ingrid E Newkirk

Founder, PETA


Graeme Oliver

Director, Poached Rhino


Asgar Pathan

Executive Director, Care for the Wild Kenya


Dr. Mark Pilgrim

Director General, Chester Zoo, former chair UK Elephant Welfare Group


Ian Redmond

Independent wildlife biologist, Founder of the African Ele-Fund and Ambassador for the UNEP Convention on Migratory Species


Mary Rice

Executive Director, Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA)


Jo Roberts

CEO, The Wilderness Foundation


John Roberts

Director of Elephants, Golden Triangle Elephant Foundation


Jen Samuel
Elephants DC, President


Noor Santosian

Founder, Africa Nomads Conservation


John Sauven

Executive Director, Greenpeace UK


David Shepherd CBE

Founder and President of the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation


The Rt Revd Dr Alan Smith

Bishop of St Albans


Craig Spencer

Founder and Executive Director, Black Mamba APU

Head Warden, Balule Nature Reserve


Patsy Stagman

Rhino Conservation Dubai


Ian Stevenson

CEO Conservation Lower Zambezi

Yvette Taylor

International Executive Director, Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization


Janet Thomas

Founder and Chairperson, Animal Aid Abroad Inc.


Jaime Unwin and Hannah Pollock

Co-Founders, Stand up for Nature


Stephanie Vergniault

Founder and Executive Director, SOS Elephants


Rory Young

Co-Founder, Chengeta Wildlife


Members of UK Parliament:


Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh

MP, Ochil and South Perthshire


David Anderson

MP, Blaydon


Clive Betts

MP, Sheffield South East


Alan Brown
MP, Kilmarnock and Loudoun


Nick Brown

MP, Newcastle upon Tyne East


Fiona Bruce

MP, Congleton


Lisa Cameron

MP, East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow


Alan Campbell

MP, Tynemouth


Alistair Carmichael

MP, Orkney and Shetland


Maria Caulfield

MP, Lewes


Mark Durkan

MP, Derry


Vicky Foxcroft

MP, Lewisham Deptford


Roger Godsiff

MP, Birmingham Hall Green


Zac Goldsmith

MP, Richmond Park


Helen Goodman

MP, Bishop Auckland


George Kerevan

MP, East Lothian


Chris Law

MP, Dundee West


Caroline Lucas

MP, Brighton Pavilion


Justin Madders

MP, Ellesmere Port and Neston


John Mann
MP, Bassetlaw


John McDonnell

MP, Hayes and Harlington


Grahame Morris

MP, Easington


Kate Osamor

MP, Edmonton


Andrew Rosindell

MP, Romford


Cat Smith

MP, Lancaster and Fleetwood


Jeff Smith

MP, Manchester Withington


John Spellar

MP, Warley



Members of the House of Lords 


Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb


Lord and Lady Judd


Baroness (Ruth) Lister of Burtersett


Lord Stoddart of Swindon


Baroness Young of Old Scone



Members of the European Parliament:


Catherine Bearder

MEP, South East England


Dominique Bilde

MEP, France



Richard Corbitt

MEP, Yorkshire and The Humber


Seb Dance

MEP, London


Anneliese Dodds

MEP, South East of England


Stefan Eck

MEP, Germany


Bas Eickhout

MEP, The Netherlands


Neena Gill

MEP, West Midlands


Julie Girling

MEP, South West England


Jeppe Kofod

MEP, Denmark


Jean Lambert

MEP, London


David Martin

MEP, The Lothians


Marlene Mizzi

MEP, Malta


Pavel Poc

MEP, Czech Republic


Michèle Rivasi

MEP, France


Molly Scott Cato

MEP, South West of England


Bart Staes

MEP, Belgium


Keith Taylor

MEP, South East Region


Claude Turmes

MEP, Luxembourg


Ernest Urtasun

MEP, Spain


Ivo Vajgl

MEP, Slovenia