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Princes hope to halt wildlife crime

07 June 2013

by a staff reporter


THE Duke of Cambridge and the Prince of Wales have joined the campaign against the trafficking of wild animals.

They hosted a conference on wildlife crime, which focused on the plights of three species - elephant, tiger, and rhino - whose future is endangered by the international trade in body parts.

The Duke of Cambridge said: "My fear is that one of two things will stop the illegal trade: either we take action to stem the trade, or we run out of the animals. I sincerely hope my generation is not the first on the planet to consider elephants, tigers, and rhino historical creatures, like the dodo.

"Now is the time for young people who believe passionately in protecting these species to speak out before it is too late. Education is a crucial part of the solution."

His grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh, set up the Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC) in 1986, to help the world's main faiths to develop environmental programmes based on their own teachings, beliefs, and practices.

It has seen some successes: the Duke's campaign among élite sectors of Japanese society to make it socially unacceptable to have ivory artefacts has meant that Japan no longer figures in the illegal animal trade.

ARC representatives attended the meeting and presented Prince Charles with new faith commitments against the illegal wildlife-trade. They discussed progress made by Taoists in China to stop the use of animal parts in traditional Chinese medicine.

Prince Charles told the conference that it was "unthinkable" that animals should become extinct: "The destruction of animal species will diminish us all."

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