January 18 2013
World Citizens for Elephants commended the National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority of Zimbabwe for their agreement to release the 5 remaining wild caught elephant *calves being held at Hwange National Park into a rehabilitation situation and not send them to Chinese zoos.
It is clear that the welfare of individual animals traded under their systems are not part of all the Member Parties agendas, except for the immediate handling of transport. Following an exhaustive research of the CITES website and publications "humane treatment" and "acceptable and appropriate destinations" for traded live animals, is still to be defined. In the 21st century and in a civil society, this lack of animal welfare standards is not acceptable. The adoption by the United Nations (and the nations that are Member Parties to CITES) of the Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare or some other codification, would go a long way to rectifying this oversight.
|Please download and use this image if you are posting about the elephants still in China. (Photo 18 January 2012)|
|Lonely's condition has deteriorated in the past week (Photo 18 January 2013)|
*Note 1: (Revised 20 Jan) Elephant experts state the elephant (pictured) in the Chinese zoo is between 2-3 years of age. The ages of the 5 elephants moved to Umfurudzi are yet to be determined.
**Note 2: Re Numbers of Calves: Original information that there were 14 calves still being held in Zimbabwe we do know that 4 sold to China and were transported to China, one died. There were 5 left in Zimbabwe awaiting transport. We are awaiting information on the NUMBERS, movements etc. But at this stage ALL calves held at Hwange NP have been released to the rehabilitation park.
***Note 3: The CITES Com 11.35 (in relation to CITES Conf 11.20) states “where the term 'appropriate and acceptable destinations' appears in an annotation to the listing of a species in Appendix II of the Convention with reference to the export of or international trade in live animals, this term shall be defined to mean destinations where the Scientific Authority of the State of import is satisfied that the proposed recipient of a living specimen is suitably equipped to house and care for it.”
Sources: CITES http://www.cites.org/eng/cop/11/other/Adopted_Res.pdf and http://www.cites.org/eng/res/11/11-20.php
Scientific American: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=how-zoos-kill-elephants