News Update, continued

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Elephants to be Culled for Research—and For Their Own Survival

(South Africa): Eleanor Momberg, Sunday Independent, May 3, 2009

Elephants are to be culled in national parks in the near future.This will be done as part of a controlled experimental programme undertaken by South Africa National Parks (SANParks) to determine the effects of culling, contraception and range expansion on social behaviour and the meta-population. Culling was listed as one of the management options available in terms of the norms and standards for elephant management that came into effect last year. (read more)

Elephants Are Given Reprieve at UN Conference

The Hague, The Netherlands

Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe agreed at a United Nations meeting in The Hague today not to propose additional ivory trade from their countries for at least nine years, or 2016 at the earliest. The agreement was reached at a meeting of the 171 members of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) which will conclude tomorrow. (read complete article)

African Elephants Get 9-year Reprieve, June 14, 2007

African countries have agreed to extend a ban on ivory exports for another nine years.

In a deal reached Wednesday at the meeting of the UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in The Hague, four African countries will be allowed to sell their ivory stockpiles to raise funds for conservation and community development efforts. The ivory had been intercepted from black market transactions and the sale by Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe had been previously approved. The four countries say their elephant populations are increasing thanks to conservation and law enforcement efforts. (read article)

Let Elephants Keep Their Ivory—a Video Message for the CITES Convention

Lelystad, Netherlands, (PRWEB) June 8, 2007

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is currently convening in The Hague, the Netherlands. On the agenda, among other topics being discussed in the next two weeks, are African elephants and the trade of stockpiled ivory. As a result from a previous sale of stockpiled ivory, there’s been an increase in poaching, despite elephants being on the endangered list. (read complete article here or watch the video below) YouTube Preview Image

Jumbo E-prayers for Elephants

Mariska Spoormaker, Die Burger, 10/05/2007

Port Elizabeth—A prayer group for elephants, which has a link to the internet, are on their knees as South Africa considers the possibility of selective culling. The prayer circle, known as E-posse, spans several continents via an internet link which leads to Join the Elephant Prayer Circle.

Anna Breytenbach, one of the few animal communicators in South Africa, is throwing her full weight behind it. (read more)

Silences and Spin Doctoring: Trying to Access Government Information on Elephants in South Africa

22 October 2008

The implementation of the controversial Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT) legislative policy on elephants (the National Norms and Standards on the Management of Elephants in South Africa) which was promulgated eight months ago, has been put to the test by Animal Rights Africa (ARA), who have just completed a two-month investigative report.

ARA attempted to establish from DEAT and provincial conservation officials exactly how available and accessible comprehensive information relating to the use of elephants and their management actually is. These include the use of “culling”, the exact quantity of the elephant ivory stockpile held in the country, elephant hunting, the killing of so-called “damage causing animals”, the number of elephants held in captivity and the execution of some of the administrative processes called for by the Norms and Standards. The progress of drafting a “Minimum Standards” document in relation to the welfare of elephants in captivity (zoos, circuses and elephant back safaris) was also explored. (read more)

Culling Elephants Could Cost SA

Independent Online News (
11 September 2007

South Africa’s fast-growing tourism industry could be hit by elephant culling, an animal rights group has warned.A “substantial number” of tourists would not come to the country if culling was reintroduced, Animal Rights Africa trustee Steve Smit told members of Parliament’s environmental affairs and tourism portfolio committee.

This assessment was based on discussions held with local tourism operators and tourism marketing agencies, as well as international animal rights organisations, he said. Earlier this year, Environment Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk unveiled a set of draft norms and standards for the management of South Africa’s elephant herds. (read complete article)

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