As the UAE CITES Management Authority should be aware, the export of live elephants from Namibia is restricted to in situ conservation programmes, by virtue of the annotation applied to the Appendix II listing of Namibia’s population. Apart from the serious abrogation of CITES regulations, all captures of wild elephants for captive facilities are inherently cruel and do not contribute to conservation, according to IUCN AfESG; it is totally irresponsible and counter-intuitive to even consider capturing wild elephants especially during the hot months.

PREN scientists, conservationists and elephant experts have already stressed the impacts this sale will have and the implications on the conservation of this unique population which will be irreversibly and negatively affected by such destructive actions. Exporting wild caught elephants from Namibia in these circumstances will be detrimental to the species and population concerned, and as such we believe would be in further contravention of CITES regulations.

Also attached hereto, for your urgent attention and response is a Legal Opinion on this subject matter which finds that it would not be lawful for the Namibia CITES Management Authority to issue an export permit under either Appendix I or Appendix II of CITES and that, similarly, it would not be lawful for a country outside of the range states for Loxodonta Africana to issue an import permit.

For all the aforementioned reasons, we call on the governments of Namibia and the UAE to urgently halt this transaction.

The following Members of the Pro Elephant Network have signed in support of this communication:

Owais Awan                              Advocate High Court, Islamabad

Suparna Baksi-Ganguly              President and Co-Founder, Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation Center, Bangalore, India

Dr Brett Bard                             Veterinarian, South Africa 

Dr Jessica Bell Rizzolo               Postdoctoral Researcher, the Conservation Criminology Lab, Dep of Fisheries and  Wildlife, Michigan State University

Janey Clegg                              Committee Member, SPCA Mutare, Zimbabwe

Professor David Bilchitz             Director, South African Institute for Advanced Constitutional, Public and Human Rights and International Law – South Africa 

Megan Carr                               Founder, Rhinos in Africa  

Lenin Chisaira                           Founder, Advocates 4 Earth – Green Law Connect, Zimbabwe

Dr Betsy Coville                          Wildlife Veterinarian – USA

Dr Harvey Croze                        DPhil (Oxon) Collaborating Researcher – Amboseli Trust for Elephants – Kenya 

Nomusa Dube                           Founder, Zimbabwe Elephant Foundation

David Ebert                               Advocate, Founder Director of The Animal Defense Partnership – USA

Stefania Falcon                         Co-Founder, Future 4 Wildlife – South Africa 

Michele Franko                          Captive Elephant Caregiver and Advocate – USA

Chief Stephen Fritz                    Indigenous Leader, South Peninsula Khoi Council – South Africa 

Dr Toni Frohoff                          Ethologist and Behavioral Biologist, Founder of TerraMar   

Dr Ross Harvey                         Environmental Economist, Botswana   

Heike Henderson-Altenstein       Director, Future for Elephants e.V. 

Alok Hisarwala Gupta Lawyer, Animal Law – India

Peter Hodgskin                          Founder, Hands-off Fernkloof, South Africa 

Sangita Iyer                               B.Sc., M.A., Founder of Voice for Asian Elephants Society, Nat Geo Explorer and  Wildlife Filmmaker 

Lynne James                             Independent, Elephant Conservation,  Zimbabwe

David Kabambo                         Founder Director of Peace for Conservation – Wildlife Management – Tanzania

Dr Paula Kahumbu                    WildlifeDirect, Kenya  

Professor Mohan Kharel             Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal

Jim Karani                                 Advocate, Lawyers for Animal Protection in Africa – Kenya 

Dr Winnie Kiiru                          Founder, Conservation Kenya

Brigitte Kornetzky                      President and Founder of Elefanten in Not  – Switzerland / India 

Kahindi Lekalhaile                      Africa Network for Animal Welfare, Kenya 

Dr Smaragda Louw                    Director, Ban Animal Trading, South Africa 

Giorgio Lombardi                       Warden Vogelgat Private Nature Reserve, South Africa 

Linda Masudze                          Advocate 4 Earth, Zimbabwe 

Varda Mehrotra                         Environmentalist, Climate Crisis Researcher – India  

Dr Cynthia Moss                        Director, Amboseli Trust for Elephants, Kenya

Sharon Pincott                           Elephant Behavioural Specialist, ex-Hwange, Zimbabwe  

Michele Pickover                       Director, EMS Foundation, South Africa

Ian Redmond OBE                     Ian Redmond OBE – Founder, African Ele-Fund and Elefriends Campaign, Chairman of Ape Alliance and Co-Founder of Rebalance Earth 

Ingo Schmidinger                       Elephant Husbandry – Co-Founder iScapes 

Dr Nurzhafarina Binti Othman     Founder: Seratu Aatai, Elephant Conservation and Research Coordinator at HUTAN-KOCP  – Malaysia 

Dr Jan Schmidt-Burbach            Veterinarian, Head of Wildlife Research and Animal Welfare, World Animal Protection International

Dr DJ Schubert                          Wildlife Biologist, Animal Welfare Institute – USA 

Dr Liz Tyson                              Animal Welfare Law, Programs Director  – Born Free USA 

Antoinette Van de Water            Director, Bring the Elephant Home, South Africa  

Vasanthi Vadi                            CEO – Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations – India 

Prof Dan Wylie                          Rhodes University, South Africa 

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