With only two days left to the general election, many of you have been asking me what actions the Conservative Party will take to help prevent the dreadful poaching and killing of so many of our much loved and iconic elephants each year.
Our manifesto commits us to 'protecting rare species' as well as pledging 'to be the first generation to leave the environment in a better state than we inherited it.' That is why we will continue with the plans we set out last September to ban the sale of modern day ivory. We will consult on these plans, including on how to ensure tough enforcement, and work with the environmental NGOs, art and antiques trade and the public to ensure the UK has among the toughest rules in the world.
As part of our commitment to be at the forefront of global efforts on tackling the barbaric wildlife trade, we will continue to lead the way in championing greater co-operation with international conservation bodies which work to protect the elephant. To this end we have announced a further £13 million for tackling the illegal wildlife trade, doubling our investment to £26 million.
We will continue to use this money to provide training for anti-poaching rangers on the ground; to enable UK law enforcement officers to share their expertise; and to work with Interpol and other organisations in the fight against wildlife crime.
I share your concerns about the plight of this majestic creature and am committed to ensuring the survival of our elephant population so that future generations will have the chance to observe this magnificent animal in the wild rather than from the pages of a history book.