Following revelations that dozens of African elephants are still being killed every day East Yorkshire MP Sir Greg Knight is backing an all-party Parliamentary motion calling for a total end to the ivory trade in the UK.
Under existing law only antique ivory is allowed to be bought and sold in Britain. However it has emerged that some unscrupulous dealers are falsely ‘antiquing’ ivory using artificial stains or ageing techniques. Because of this deception other nations are now introducing a total ban on ivory trade.
Sir Greg said: “Currently an average of one African elephant is killed every 15 minutes for its ivory. This is an international disgrace. By far the best way to save the African elephant is to remove the confusion and introduce a total ban on ivory sales with immediate effect”.
“We should do everything possible to preserve these endangered creatures for the next generation because elephants should be appreciated in their natural habitat – not in the form of a coffee-table trinket or ornament”.
East Yorkshire MP Sir Greg Knight has welcomed the new agreement called the Buckingham Palace Declaration as a step forward towards stamping out the illegal trade in endangered wildlife.
The 11-point Buckingham Palace Declaration made this month, commits to shut down the routes exploited by traffickers in the illegal wildlife trade to move their products. It has been signed by 40 organisations including transportation companies and will mean poachers will in future struggle to move their illegal products out of Africa. In addition transport companies have now committed to passing information about dubious cargo shipments onto law enforcement officials.
Sir Greg, who has campaigned in Parliament for action against African poachers, praised Prince William and the former Foreign Secretary Lord Hague for brokering the deal.
Sir Greg said: “This is an important step forward in the battle to preserve animals like African elephants and rhinoceroses for future generations. Poachers rely on being able to move their ill-gotten gains around the world and this new agreement will hopefully block their business. I hope this will lead to a sharp drop in the numbers of endangered animals being slaughtered”.
Pictured: East Yorkshire MP Sir Greg Knight with a stuffed tiger cub which was slaughtered at 10 days of age and then mounted on a wooden plinth solely for “decorative purposes”. The baby cub “ornament” was seized during a police raid in the UK.
East Yorkshire MP Sir Greg Knight is backing a Parliamentary Motion calling for the publication of the results of animal experiments.
The motion aims to encourage different laboratories to use each other’s research in order to reduce the need for live testing, and ensure that there can be informed public debate on the merits of each trial by making information more widely available.
Sir Greg also backs the increased use of Freedom of Information requests to ensure that animal laboratories are more transparent and open to scrutiny.
He said: ‘Despite some progress in recent years, more work still needs to be done to ensure that animal testing is carried out only when absolutely necessary’.
Sir Greg added: ‘This is a simple step that can be taken to better safeguard animals, and can be achieved without infringing on the ability of British scientists to continue to produce world-leading medical research.’
Cruelty Free International has praised Sir Greg’s commitment to animal welfare and say they are ‘delighted’ with his continued support on the issue.
East Yorkshire MP Sir Greg Knight is pressing the Government for further action to stamp out the illegal international trade in endangered animals.
In the House of Commons Sir Greg highlighted that many courier firms transport illegal animal parts and derivative products without inquiring what it is they are delivering and suggested more could be done to stamp out this vile crime.
Sir Greg said he was ‘repulsed’ by the trade and was calling for international action on the issue.
Responding, Leader of the House of Commons William Hague MP said Sir Greg: “Made a very powerful point” and went on to say: “As Chair of the Ministerial Committee on Animal Health and Animal Issues, I also feel extremely strongly about this issue. I believe there is more that Governments across the world can do, and I will be doing some work on that in the next few months”.
Sir Greg welcomed the commitment from Mr Hague and hoped to soon see further global initiatives to cut wildlife crime.
East Yorkshire MP Sir Greg Knight is sponsoring a Parliamentary Motion calling for the Government to cut the number of animals used in experiments.
The motion calls for the Government to set targets for reductions in animal experimentation by May next year.
Sir Greg said: “Some progress has been made in reducing the number of animals used but too many are still used in situations where other equally good alternatives, such as sophisticated computer models, are available”.
Sir Greg added: “We must set firm and measurable goals to reduce animal experiments rather than just producing platitudes on this matter”.
Sir Greg’s comments were echoed by the Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments who said; “We are disappointed that no targets have been set in the Government’s plan to cut the number of animals used in UK laboratories”.
Greg Knight is supporting moves to stamp out the international trade in endangered and vulnerable species.
Mr Knight, the MP for East Yorkshire, said he was ‘repulsed’ at the trade and was supporting increased international activity to stamp it out.
Mr Knight said: “There is a need for international action to deal with wildlife crime. The INTERPOL Wildlife Crime Working Group brings together specialized criminal investigators from around the world to tackle illegal activities on an international level and this is welcome, but more needs to be done.
“I support the work of environmental experts across the world to maximize the impact of cracking down on illegal wildlife crime”.
The MP was speaking after it was revealed that rare rhinos in wildlife parks in the UK may now be under threat from poachers. Police say they have had an anonymous tip-off that black rhinos could be targeted by poachers, who sell the horns for traditional medicine.
“Over the last few years there have been break-ins at museums where stuffed rhino heads have been stolen for their horns, but now it looks like rare live animals in the UK are being targeted,” Mr Knight said.
Mr Knight says some people believe rhino horn has potent medicinal properties but there is no evidence that this is so. He condemns the illegal trade in rhino horn, calling those who take part “ignorant and dim-witted, seeking to profit from those who are primitive and superstitious”.
The MP added, “Effective campaigns against wildlife crime, both here and overseas, have my full support.”
East Yorkshire MP Greg Knight is calling for an end to animals being slaughtered without pre-stunning.
Mr Knight said, “This unacceptable practice is rife and is even used in cases when the customer does not require it. The Government should take action?”
In the Commons, Mr Knight pointed to remarks by Professor Bill Reilly, the ex-president of the British Veterinary Association, who has said it is “unacceptable” to slit the throats of cattle, lambs and chickens to produce halal meat without first stunning them. Mr Knight asked the Leader of the House, Sir George Young, for a debate on the matter in the House of Commons.
Sir George replied, “There is some evidence that the incidence of non-stunning exceeds that required for religious reasons” and he added that the Government currently have “the matter under review”.
Mr Knight said, “A small number of people require animals to be slaughtered in a specific way for religious reasons but most people would be appalled if they learnt that they were unwittingly consuming meat from animals that had their throats slit without any pre-stunning. This matter needs urgent attention from the Government.
Back in 2010 the House of Commons authorities revealed, in response to a question from Mr Knight, that they had previously served ritually slaughtered halal meat to Members of Parliament without their knowledge.
For more information see: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-18187137
Greg Knight is backing a new campaign by the World Society for Protection of Animals (WSPA) to stamp out the international trade in endangered and vulnerable species.
The East Yorkshire MP said he was shocked to be shown a stuffed tiger cub which was slaughtered at 10 days of age and then mounted on a wooden plinth for “decorative purposes”. The baby cub was seized during a police raid in the UK.
Mr Knight said he was ‘repulsed’ at the trade and was supporting increased police activity to stamp it out.
The MP added, “There are only approximately 3,000 tigers left in the wild across the world. Indeed there are more privately owned tigers in America than there are tigers in the wild and anyone who takes part in this sickening trade deserves to face a substantial period in custody. This campaign has my full support.”