Thursday, 26 January 2017

Working Temperatures and the Ivory Trade. Time to act on both


Working temperatures
Too many people have to work in excessively hot conditions and I've heard about complaints from Accrington's Acorn Centre. That's why I've supported the TUC's Cool It campaign to introduce a statutory maximum temperature in the workplace and why I've signed EDM 344 to ask the Government to give workers these legal safeguards #CoolIt

Ivory trade
The ivory trade is a global outrage. As the charity Born Free has stated, tens of thousands of elephants are killed each year for their ivory - that's one elephant butchered every 15 minutes. Nearly one third of Africa's savanna elephants were killed between 2007 and 2014 to fuel the ivory trade in Asia, where gangs can charge over a thousand dollars for a kilogram of ivory on the black market.

Armed poachers are paid to pursue whole herds of elephants, shooting the animals with machine guns before they saw off their tusks with chainsaws.

This barbarism not only harms the animals themselves. It also undermines Africa's biodiversity and destroys the continent's eco-systems. Elephants spread seeds and create clearings in forests, laying way for new plants to grow - as anyone who's watched Planet Earth knows. They also attract thousands of tourists, bringing in much-needed revenue to parts of Africa.

International trade in ivory has been outlawed for over a quarter of a century. And in 1989, ivory prices crashed as a result, while markets in the USA and UK closed.

But the trade persists, albeit illicitly.

In September 2016, countries agreed to shut down the domestic ivory trade at a meeting by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. I'm glad to see our own Government take international action to combat the ivory trade. But there's a lot more that needs to be done. Each day,
ivory is traded within the UK - and much of it is falsely presented as part of the legal antique market.

That's why I've signed EDM 859, which calls on the Government to implement its commitment to ban ivory sales and close down the UK ivory market immediately.