Peterborough, England: William George & Co are a forward-thinking, proactive auction house with a strong, long-term vision for the future. Nowhere in that future do they see the continuation of practices that harm endangered wildlife.
Today, William George & Co announced they have taken the impactful first step towards removing illegal wildlife and their products from sale online. They have adopted the standardised, policy framework on online wildlife trade.
This framework is supported by a comprehensive policy developed in collaboration with online companies, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), TRAFFIC and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) ?Here
It aims to simplify shopping guidelines for consumers, educate users about legality and eliminate the loopholes that allow wildlife trade online. Most importantly, by adhering to this framework, online companies can help create a unified, global front to stop wildlife crime.
William George & Co, in partnership with IFAW, TRAFFIC & WWF will help combat these trades whilst raising awareness of an extremely important issue.
Philip Mansbridge, UK Director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), said: “IFAW welcomes the strong stance taken by William George & Co auction house to combat wildlife trade online. We are at a tipping point for elephants, rhinos and other endangered species and we all have a part to play if we are to protect them from the threat of extinction.
“By adopting the standardised policy framework on online wildlife trade, William George & Co are sending out a powerful message to potential traders and buyers. We urge other auction houses and online marketplaces to follow their excellent example in working to protect the wildlife which share our planet.”
The public perception of endangered animal products needs to change and it is an issue that requires a greater global consciousness. Positive steps are being taken to point us in the right direction but this must continue to make meaningful change.
Two Million Tusks said "We are very encouraged by William George & Co’s foresightedness. "We hope their actions will compel other UK auction houses to also be a catalyst for change. Two Million Tusks 2017 evidence-based report 'Ivory: The Grey Areas' revealed shocking findings. UK auction houses could not provide adequate proof of age for 90% of the ivory lots investigated. There appears to be widespread flouting of the law, where legal ‘antique’ ivory provides cover for illegal ivory. A continued unregulated UK ivory trade would be a disaster for elephants, and only help aid their extinction. A full UK ivory ban is the only option and the right option”.
Stuart Agnew MEP, UK Independence Party, East of England said: “I support the stance taken by William George & Co. It may cost money in the short term but I hope all traders and auction houses will follow suit. Voluntary efforts like this are far more effective than legislation in tackling poaching and black markets. If ivory becomes worthless because there is little interest in trading in it, the incentive to kill elephants will be greatly reduced. Ivory has no unique practical application, it is simply a fashionable ornament. You are helping to make it unfashionable.
“My work as a Soil and Water Conservation Officer in rural Rhodesia put me in close contact with elephants. These magnificent animals were often the subject of conversations amongst my colleagues, some of whom had lived in East Africa and had seen the horrific results of poaching at first hand.”
William George & Co do not deal with the sale of ivory or endangered wildlife products but this is not enough to combat an ever-growing problem. Globally, we must realise that the continuation of this trade will force the extinction of treasured species.
On average, one African elephant is killed by poachers every 25 minutes!
William George & Co intend to be part of the generation that snubs out these barbaric acts. Creating a world filled with treasured species that future generations can appreciate and live alongside.
William George & Co are a leading online auction house based in Cambridgeshire, UK. Head to wgandco.com for further details on their fight against illegal wildlife trade.
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