Seventy per cent of illegal ivory ends up in China -- the world's largest ivory consumer, as the insatiable demand for the "white gold" is surging with the growing middle class populous. The root cause of this insane craving for ivory is ignorance. According to the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), more than 70 per cent of Chinese don't realize that elephants are being killed for their ivory.
The Conservative government could have taken a much bolder stance on wildlife poaching, especially given the recent Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA). Canada has even more power to coerce China into bringing forth sweeping changes to it's treatment of animals and the environment.
The system is being foiled in the case of the proposed and agreed upon plan to send the Toronto Zoo's three remaining African elephants to an elephant sanctuary in California run by PAWS. To some, it seems a predictable case of the bureaucracy -- i.e.: the zoo people who want the prestige of having elephants -- trying to short circuit or sabotage decisions of those who are their bosses.