Tighten Ivory Ban in the UK

Target: The Right Honourable Theresa May, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

Goal: Crack down further on ivory trade that is decimating wild elephants.

Illegal ivory has been discovered on sale in the United Kingdom, despite an official ban on the sale of ivory introduced fairly recently. Radiocarbon dating tests have shown that at least one fifth of the ivory came from animals killed after the first efforts made to restrict the trade and stop the poaching of elephants and rhinos, in 1989.

These sales are counterproductive and unethical. For years, conservationists and animal welfare groups have been working their hardest to stop the ivory trade for good in order to protect the remaining elephant and rhino populations. The ban introduced in the UK was a great step forward, but those who have found ways to sneak past the radar and break this law are taking our efforts a step backward. Despite our best efforts, people are still finding ways to continue the trade, thus encouraging the slaughter of more elephants and rhinos.

The UK is introducing a new bill to further crack down on the sale of ivory, to hopefully ensure that even under-the-table businesses and sellers will be prevented from encouraging this barbaric trade. We must support this effort and ensure that the government does as well. Sign this petition to demand that the UK government throws all of their support behind this new bill.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Prime Minister May,

Despite a law introduced fairly recently to stop the sale of ivory, objects containing the substance have been discovered on sale in the United Kingdom. The ivory used is confirmed to have come from animals killed after the first restrictions were put in place, and is proof that many are still breaking the law for the sake of profit.

You must throw all of your support behind the bill planned to further crack down on ivory sales. The sale of these items directly contradicts the efforts of conservationists and animal welfare groups to protect elephants and rhinos from extinction due to excessive poaching, and encourages the illegal market to continue its operation. Tighter laws will likely include keeping a sharper eye out for illegal sales, ensuring they are shut down before they can take place. Please support this new bill and help it become a law, for the sake of the elephants and rhinos that still remain.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Rob Young

Stop Children From Dying of Air Pollution

Target: The Right Honourable Michael Gove, United Kingdom Secretary of State

Goal: Support family’s demand for anti-pollution laws in the United Kingdom following their daughter’s death.

A nine-year-old girl recently died from severe asthma attacks and seizures, which her family and their attorneys have attributed to the increase in air pollution over the past few years. The family’s home was 25 metres from South Circular, one of the most heavily polluted areas in London; they are currently fighting for the implementation of anti-pollution laws all across the UK.

Since 2010, the UK has failed to implement any sort of plans or methods of reducing air pollution, despite being one of the most polluted territories in Europe. At least 40,000 people die of health complications from air pollution every year, especially those with already existing respiratory ailments. Much of this contamination comes from factory smoke and diesel vehicles, the latter of whose nitrogen dioxide levels were consistently above the legal limit and which the child was regularly exposed to.

Ella Kissi-Debrah deserves to be more than just the latest victim of polluted air in the United Kingdom. Her family and their attorneys are fighting to ensure that the pollution laws are improved; this will not bring back their daughter, but it will prevent future deaths. Sign this petition to support this demand.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Minister Gove,

A young girl’s death from asthma-related complications is the latest in a steady stream of air pollution-related deaths for the past several years. The girl’s family resided 25 metres from one of the most heavily polluted areas in London, where she was exposed to illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide from diesel vehicles on a daily basis; this led to worsening asthma symptoms in addition to seizures.

Ella Kissi-Debrah’s family and their attorneys are making the link between the child’s death and the increasing levels of air pollution, and you must aid them by implementing new anti-pollution laws. At least 40,000 people per year die from health complications from this pollution, as the United Kingdom is one of the most polluted territories in Europe. You must implement new laws immediately; this will not being back those who have died, but they will prevent future deaths.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Alfred Palmer

Protect Millions of Children and Infants by Reducing Air Pollution in the UK

Target: Michael Gove, Environment Secretary, United Kingdom

Goal: Reduce the amount of air pollution in the UK.

Millions of children are in danger due to deadly air pollution. According to a report done by UNICEF, millions of children are being exposed to dangerously high levels of air pollution. The UK is failing to address this air pollution problem, and children are dealing with the repercussions.  Around 4.5 million children are living in zones that are considered the worst in the country, with London and Glasgow being among the worst cities.

This lack of environmental protection is causing people to suffer. Amy Gibbs of UNICEF UK commented, “Worryingly, one third of our children could be filling their lungs with toxic air that puts them at risk of serious, long-term health conditions.” These children need to be protected. Action needs to be taken to reduce the harm to children. The country has yet to modify a plan to tackle the air pollution problem for good. Sign this petition to demand change in the UK and have the government create funding to reduce the amount of air pollution.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Secretary Gove,

I am writing to urge you to execute a plan that reduces the amount of air pollution in the UK. Children in the UK are breathing in high levels of polluted air. Over 4.5 million children and as many as 270,000 infants under the age of one are living in areas that are considered the worst areas in the country for air pollution.

It is estimated that 23,500 people die every year from complications due to nitrogen dioxide. Children are especially vulnerable to air pollution, which is why action needs to be taken now. These children do not deserve to die because of poor air quality. We demand that the UK creates funding for programs that reduce the air pollution.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Alfred Palmer

Save Britain’s Puffin Population from Extinction

Target: The Right Honourable Theresa May, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

Goal: Protect British puffin population from disappearing forever.

Britain’s puffins are in peril, with their numbers seeing a dramatic drop within the last five years. Less than 20,000 breeding pairs remain overall. This may seem like a large number, but for a species as plentiful as the puffin, it is a shocking reduction. If their numbers continue to drop, the entire species may disappear within a few short years. Farne Island’s population has taken the biggest hit with their 42 percent drop, but other islands are in just as bad of shape.

We cannot allow this to happen. These wonderful birds are a very important species, not only to British heritage, but to the ecosystem. They help control fish populations, and a major absence of any species impacts the environment overall. The disappearance of these birds is largely due to climate change, which despite our greatest efforts continues to threaten the overall condition of Earth and its wildlife.

Puffins need to be protected before they disappear completely. These iconic and wonderful birds deserve better than to lose their homes and their lives. Sign this petition to ensure these birds can rebuild their numbers and live on.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Prime Minister May,

Britain’s puffin population has dropped drastically within the past five years, particularly on Farne Island, which has seen a 42 percent loss. The birds are dying out due to habitat loss and climate change, with breeding pairs coming in at less than 20,000. This is a frighteningly small number for a once plentiful species.

You must tighten protection laws for these birds and strengthen the United Kingdom’s fight against climate change. These birds are too important to British heritage and the ecosystem to allow them to disappear forever. They have been listed as “vulnerable,” but that may not be enough within a year’s time. Despite all efforts to protect the birds and stop climate change, the situation is becoming more and more grim; the puffin may die out completely in a few short years. The species’ future depends on all of our efforts.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: T.Müller

Save Trees from Being Cut Down by Railway Company

Target: Mark Carne, CEO of Network Rail

Goal: Stop railway business from chopping down millions of trees.

Millions of trees in the United Kingdom are at risk thanks to a secret operation being carried out by the Network Rail. The operation seeks to end the hassle of trees shedding their leaves and branches onto the line; thousands have already been cut down, and many more will soon follow.

While branches and leaves falling onto the line is indeed an issue, it is still no excuse to destroy so many trees for the sake of human convenience. Deforestation is already a huge problem across the globe, with entire forests being felled to make room for housing, farms, and other developments. The absence of so many trees is dangerous, as they provide oxygen and other benefits to all manner of living creatures. Worse, such work is reportedly being done with flagrant disregard for the Wildlife and Countryside Act, as several trees were cut down during nesting season despite the legal protection offered to trees and birds during this time.

We cannot allow the United Kingdom to be robbed of so many trees, and we cannot allow such an important law to continue to be violated. Sign this petition to demand that the Network Rail seek legal and eco-friendly alternatives as solutions to their problems.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Carne,

Your company’s secret operation has robbed the United Kingdom of thousands of trees, all for the sake of keeping the lines clean of branches and leaves. The absence of so many trees is dangerous, as they provide oxygen for living creatures as well as food and shelter for many species of wildlife. Additionally, several of your engineers have reportedly violated the Wildlife and Countryside Act by felling trees during nesting season.

There are many more eco-friendly methods of keeping the lines clean; pruning, for example, involves only cutting off branches and leaves while leaving the rest of the tree intact. Your operation is simply excessive and dangerous, and you must put a stop to it. We need trees to survive, and clean rail lines are not worth such damage to the ecosystem. Please seek safer alternatives to keeping the lines clear of branches and leaves and end this operation immediately.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: ChanhNguyen

Applaud the United Kingdom for Shutting Off Coal Power

Target: Theresa May, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

Goal: Praise the United Kingdom for temporarily suspending all coal-powered energy generation across the country for several days.

As part of a recent experiment, the United Kingdom successfully proved that it could power its nation without using any coal over a period of several days. As the country moves toward a 2025 deadline to completely phase out this dirty, greenhouse-gas emitting fossil fuel, tests such as these are an encouraging sign and are worthy of praise.

While United Kingdom’s economy once ran entirely off of coal during the Industrial Revolution, the country is now interested in staying competitive with much of the rest of the world, where renewable energy is on the rise. By embracing clean energy, the United Kingdom is taking steps to reduce the impact of global warming, which most scientists believe will become an increasingly serious threat to human civilization in the decades to come.

Although this recent coal-free experiment lasted only 55 hours, it demonstrated that the nation can provide energy to its over 65 million residents without using coal. Sign the petition petition to applaud this successful effort and urge the British government to continue its progress in phasing out fossil fuel usage.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Prime Minister May,

I am writing to praise the United Kingdom for its recent decision to turn off all coal-powered energy for over 55 hours by allowing renewable forms like solar and wind to pick up the slack. The carbon emissions produced by coal are a major contributor to climate change. Even a temporary hiatus such as this is a welcome step in the right direction.

I am hopeful that tests such as these are a positive indicator that your nation is committed to meeting its 2025 goals to phase out coal usage entirely. I urge you to continue your progress toward this deadline and to expand the use of renewable sources of energy nationwide.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Alexandru Serbuta

Protect Foxes and Other Wildlife from Illegal Hunting

Target: Theresa May, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

Goal: Strengthen hunting restrictions and severely punish those engaging in illegal hunts.

Animal rights groups in Britain claim that over 500 illegal hunts were reported across the country last year, with the fear that this number is simply ‘the tip of the iceberg.’ It is believed that thousands of foxes, hares, deer and other animals are being cruelly slaughtered annually using packs of hounds, even though this practice has been banned for over a decade. It is far past time that those engaging in illegal hunts be found and punished, and that this ‘tradition’ be finally brought to an end.

Although most forms of hunting using dogs have been banned in the UK due to the fact that it causes suffering and harm for both wildlife and dogs, there are allegedly many hunters who are flagrantly violating these laws, using a legal loophole known as ‘trail hunting’ to cover their tracks. In addition to hunting down and barbarically killing innocent animals, packs of hounds have allegedly harmed domestic pets and run into traffic, resulting in dangerous situations for animals and people alike.

Reported incidents such as these indicate a need for Britain to crack down on these illegal activities. Sign the petition below to demand that all violators be found and punished, and that hunting restrictions be tightened to avoid more needless and cruel bloodshed.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Prime Minister May,

There have been hundreds of reports of so-called ‘trail hunters’ who have been illegally using packs of dogs to kill various forms of wildlife, including foxes and hares. While this method is touted by hunting advocates as a humane alternative involving no live quarry, it is believed that many hunters are using this as a cover for traditional hunting methods using hounds to kill live prey. Because trail hunting so closely resembles old fashioned tactics, it is easy for hunters to potentially deceive investigators and other local officials.

As long as hunters can use this legal loophole as a cover for illegal activities, innocent animals will continue to be subjected to cruel and painful deaths. That is why we, the undersigned, demand that trail hunting be made illegal and that all those found in violation of hunting laws be punished severely.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: K Hill

Success: UK to Introduce Ivory Ban

Target: The Right Honourable Theresa May, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

Goal: Praise United Kingdom for finally introducing a ban on the ivory trade.

The United Kingdom will be banning all ivory sales, thanks to public pressure and persistent efforts from conservationists. The ban will reportedly be “the toughest in Europe and one of the strictest in the world,” cracking down on the sale of products containing ivory made in the last 30 years and containing more than 10 percent ivory; there is nothing to be done about vintage products with trace amounts, but the ban assures that no new products will be made or sold.

This ban has been a long time coming. For five years, the UK was the largest exporter of legal ivory in the world, with thousands of elephants per year being killed to produce it. Public pressure and petitions such as this one on ForceChange have challenged this grim reality, fighting for the rights and welfare of the elephants targeted by poachers and ivory dealers for their tusks, and these efforts have finally paid off.

The news of this ban is most welcome after years of the UK stubbornly clinging to their ivory trade. Every country that stops the sale and exportation of ivory is a step towards the phasing out of ivory products overall, meaning a brighter future for the elephant population. Sign this petition to thank the UK government for finally stopping their irovy trade.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Prime Minister May,

The United Kingdom’s recent announcement of a ban on ivory sales is most welcome. For years, the UK has been one of the chief ivory exporters in the world, causing the deaths of thousands of African elephants each year, and the most reluctant to change this despite mounting public pressure. At last, though, the efforts of environmentalists and animal conservationists have paid off.

Ivory is fast on its way to becoming as obsolete as fur coats, as objects traditionally made of ivory are now crafted with other materials, and the more countries that reflect this, the better. This ban is a major step towards a brighter future for the elephant populations and is much appreciated. Thank you for listening to the demands of the public and putting the welfare and survival of elephants above the sale of an obsolete material.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Sokwanele Zimbabwe

Stop Murdering Elephants for UK Ivory

Target: Boris Johnson, Foreign Secretary of the UK

Goal: Follow through on leading the fight to shut down the ivory trade in the European Union.

Harriet Baldwin of the United Kingdom has promised that the UK will be leaders among European nations to end the ivory trade. She said that the UK would lead by example and described the issue as a “personal priority” for Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary. While speaking in Botswana at a conservation summit, Baldwin said: “The UK will lead by example. We will be shutting down our ivory trade. We will be working with the EU to do the same. That is something we can do irrespective of whether we are in the European Union or not.”

Between 2010-2015, the UK was the world’s leading legal ivory exporter. In October of 2017, the UK made good on public outcry to ban ivory, although there are still some significant exemptions. Now, the UK and France are joining together to call on the EU to ban the internal trade of raw, or newly carved, ivory. Currently, there are laws that ban the export of ivory, but that does not stop the production of it within countries. Many African nations want to see EU states go further in their policies to protect against the ivory trade.

This month, the presidents of Botswana, Uganda, and Gabon spearheaded a call for the EU to shut down domestic ivory markets, working toward a global ban and an end of the ivory trade. Tshekedi Khama, Botswana’s environmental minister, said: “If the EU gives us money to train rangers but still allows the exit of the trophies to the EU, that to me is a hypocrisy. Let’s stop the flowery approach that says: ‘I’ve ticked a box and I look good. I’ve given so much, but I’m still allowing you African range states to be challenged by poachers because I haven’t closed the European gates.” Essentially Khama’s argument states that if there is a market for ivory, poaching will continue regardless of measures taken to prevent it. The issue must be addressed at the source.

Sign this petition to urge Boris Johnson, foreign secretary of the UK, to make good on his promises to end the ivory trade in the UK and lead by example in the EU by working to remove exemptions on ivory trade and totally ban the trade of trophies in the UK.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Secretary Johnson,

Harriet Baldwin has said that ending the ivory trade in the UK is a personal priority of yours. Right now, dominant legislation in the EU prevents ivory products from being exported, subsequently preventing an international market for trophies. However, domestic markets still exist. In order for poaching to end, laws must be passed to stop all markets, both international and domestic.

I urge you to push for legislation that will ban ivory trade, without exemption, in the UK. This will set an example for the rest of the European Union and help prevent the unnecessary and cruel killing of elephants.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Tony Knight