It is heart-breaking that the hard work of many wildlife campaigners, including our local zoo to protect our elephants could be severely impacted by Theresa May and her Conservative Party colleagues’ plans to seemingly ignore the simple fact that elephants around the world are being killed for their tusks for trinkets and ornaments.
This has serious and dangerous consequences to elephants across the Globe. In 2015, the BBC reported that 36,000 elephants per year are killed for their ivory, that equates to an elephant every 15 minutes.. In less than 15 years, elephants could be extinct.
Prince William has also voiced his concerns on the same topic.
I do not want to live in a world, that in my lifetime these majestic creatures are simply just pictures in text books or on wikipedia.
Colchester has an almost unique relationship and affinity with the elephant.
I cannot imagine that any child (or adult) in Colchester hasn’t visited Colchester zoo and stared with complete awe at these beautiful and intelligent creatures. Furthermore, Jumbo, one of our most iconic landmarks, visible from miles around is named after an elephant and it’s symbol is visible from miles outside our town centre.
It’s nearly impossible to drive around Colchester without seeing a sign for our Zoo, indicated by an elephant.
This election is about so many things, the impact of Brexit, the NHS, immigration, caring for the elderly in a dignified way, to name but a few things. And these topics are at the forefront of my mind. I, and my party have a strong plan for each of these topics. I have lived in Colchester all my life. and I am ready, willing, and energised to bring the voice of Colchester to Westminster on these points.
However, I know, having been an effective and highly experienced constituency MP, is also about listening to the local voices of Colchester, listening and responding to the to conversations that are happening with my team and on social media.
I hear, loud and clear, the message from my fellow residents of Colchester that this is important and I want to clearly state that this is as important to me as it is you.
The Conservative party have dropped their pledge to ban the trade in ivory. This is well documented and I don’t want to waste time in exploring their motivation for this. I want to continue the work of my party, the Liberal Democrats, on their work in this area of protecting nature and delivering an ecologically and environmentally sustainable future for the UK.
In not taking this action now, in banning the ivory trade completely in 2017, we will fall behind China. A nation that has already announced a complete ban by the end of 2017 and has already begun the phasing out of trade in Ivory in March 2016.
The UK is a nation of animal lovers; as citizens of Colchester with our connection to the elephant; as visitors to Colchester Zoo, this is a message that we can easily, effectively, and efficiently deliver to the heart of government and demand an immediate stop to this barbaric, senseless, and cruel industry.
Yes, we have big challenges to face in politics in the UK. However, standing up and saying what is completely unacceptable for creatures that are defenceless against utter barbarism should be high on our agenda and should not detract from all of the other work we need to do.
I simply request that you add your name to my petition and follow our facebook page to keep updated with our progress on this important topic.
Please bear in mind, that for political change, and I mean real political change to happen; we must first defeat the Tories. It is a seat that they cannot win. Your decision on 8 June is a decision between myself and Will Quince.
It is his party that are looking to be re-elected on a manifesto of re-introducing fox hunting, and not banning the ivory trade.
Please share this message with your friends, family and colleagues.