The timely interception by Dubai Customs authorities, to prevent the illegal shipment of elephant tusks, signifies that countries opposed to smuggling and selling of endangered species of animals or their body parts, are escalating their operations against poachers.

The mass slaughter of elephants for ivory is resulting not only in endangering the species and lowering their numbers, but also in promoting the ivory trade, which is illegal in most countries. It is believed that a staggering 50,000 elephants may have been killed for their ivory last year. This leads to a waning of numbers. The UAE is a proactive player in regulating and controlling international trade in wild flora and fauna. Stringent federal laws have been set up to thwart the ambitions of those who indulge in such activity. Punitive measures are also set in place.

More than the laws that are formulated, however, it is also up to individuals or customers who must play their part in curbing this illicit activity. Awareness is crucial. Think before you buy works made of ivory. It is illegal, especially in the UAE, under the Cites (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna) Act. Think about the consequences that can follow and also about the role you can play in reporting such sales to UAE authorities. We are all stakeholders in tackling the global problem of crimes against wildlife.