EU, conservationists face off over trade in live elephants

August 27, 2019 - 4:44 am

GENEVA (AP) — The European Union is squaring off against conservationists and celebrities over efforts by some African and Middle Eastern countries to limit trade in live African elephants.

The EU was holding up final adoption of language Tuesday at a conference on trade in endangered species, known as CITES, that would all but restrict trade in live elephants to "in-situ conservation programs" or secure areas in the wild. That would curtail exports beyond Africa.

Conservationists have accused the "powerful" European zoo and circus lobby of pressing the bloc's hand.

Dozens of celebrities have sent a letter to EU president Jean-Claude Juncker saying it would be "obscene for the EU to endorse snatching wild baby elephants and condemning these beautiful leviathans to a life of captive misery."