Another day, another Ricky Gervais good deed on behalf of animals.
The English actor and comedian is working with his country’s authorities to raise awareness of the illegal wildlife trade. He is asking people to surrender to the Metropolitan police any souvenirs they may have acquired that are made from wildlife fur, horns or skin. The goods will be burned and disposed of, sending a message to traders that not only are their products not welcome in the country, they are also not wanted by the public.
“This is an opportunity for Londoners to show their support and to protect animals from the illegal wildlife trade by giving away any unwanted items made from endangered species such as elephants, tigers and rhinos,” said Gervais.
It is estimated that the illegal wildlife trade is a $7-23 billion industry. As a result of it, 20,000 elephants were killed by poachers for their ivory horns and the number of poached rhinos has grown by 50 percent just in the last year.
“People may have unwanted wildlife products, such as family heirlooms or souvenirs from trips abroad that they no longer want but are unsure how to dispose of them,” said DC Sarah Bailey, of the Metropolitan police’s wildlife crime unit. “By raising awareness and encouraging people to get behind this appeal we can potentially reduce the demand for these products.”
The efforts follow a meeting in London in February where 46 countries vouched to fight the illegal wildlife trade.
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