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Stop The Illegal Wildlife Trade: Celebrities join campaign to save giraffes from ‘silent extinction’

We are working with conservation charity Space for Giants to protect wildlife at risk from poachers due to the conservation funding crisis caused by Covid-19. Help is desperately needed to support wildlife rangers, local communities and law enforcement personnel to prevent wildlife crime. 

Emma Ledger
Wednesday 10 February 2021 10:59
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Support for the #StandTallForGiraffes campaign, which seeks to ban giraffe imports in America, was last night boosted by backing from Hollywood actor and star of Breaking Bad Aaron Paul. 

In a joint statement with his wife and co-founder of the Kind Campaign, Lauren Parsekian, Paul celebrated the mission of #StandTallForGiraffes, saying "we, as human beings, have a responsibility to protect these vulnerable, magnificent creatures who have brought so much whimsical joy into all of our lives. Into our children's lives. 

"The thought of a world without giraffes is truly heartbreaking.” 

It came after Louise Linton, an animal welfare activist and the wife of the US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, publicly lent her support for #StandTallForGiraffes with a direct appeal to the Secretary of the Interior, David Bernhardt, on Instagram. 

Linton said “the United States is one of the largest markets for giraffe parts and this has to change, Secretary Bernhardt. “I care about the safekeeping of our animal kingdom, and I know you do too. 

"The US should be leading the world in protecting wildlife. You can do so publicly by committing that you will ban giraffe imports. Please act now before it is too late and let us lead the world in ensuring the survival of this magnificent species.” 

#StandTallForGiraffes - which has reached more than 4.2 million people on Instagram since its launch last week - is a viral letter writing campaign launched by charity Kids Against Animal Poaching [KAAP] to save giraffes from what has been dubbed a 'silent extinction'. 

It was launched by KAAP founder Emily Walker after she read about plummeting giraffe populations in The Independent’s Stop The Illegal Wildlife Trade campaign.

The Covid-19 conservation crisis has shown the urgency of The Independent’s Stop the Illegal Wildlife Trade campaign, which seeks an international effort to clamp down on illegal trade of wild animals

Last month we told how giraffes are in grave danger of extinction due to demand for their body parts and skin. America was revealed to be one of the largest importers of giraffe skin; using it to make everything from bible covers to shoes.

In response, KAAP launched #StandTallForGiraffes, mobilising thousands of supporters to write or email Secretary Bernhardt to call for a ban on giraffe imports, and to demand that the animal is listed under the United States’ Endangered Species Act.

Supporters can take part in the campaign by using the #StandTallForGiraffes letter or email templates here. The aim is to create a deluge of demands that cannot be ignored.

Other famous faces lending their support to the campaign include former Pussycat Dolls turned TV stars Ashley Roberts and Kimberly Wyatt, Strictly Come Dancing’s Janette Manrara, supermodel Christy Turlington, actress Gina Gershon and Hollywood makeup artist Jillian Dempsey.

Music guru Scott Vener has also galvanised support, saying "I had no idea people collected giraffe parts. People need to recognize how precious these animals are and respect them without adding to their trophy wall. We need to protect their future."

In her full statement about the campaign, Louise Linton said “one of the most beloved creatures on our planet is facing a silent extinction. Without your help, we could lose them forever. If we continue to ignore such senseless practices, we will be complicit in their extinction.”

Stephanie Fennessy, co-founder of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation says “I welcome the #StandTallForGiraffes campaign and The Independent's effort to raise awareness of the giraffe's plight. 

"While we have sounded the alarm bell for years, it is only now that the larger public is paying these magnificent animals more attention. Only with better research into and more care of giraffe can we secure their future."

Beauty brand Chantecaille have also lent their support to #StandTallForGiraffes, inviting people to take a selfie with an augmented reality giraffe on their free app Chantecaille Wild Beauty.

Supporters are then encouraged to share their giraffe selfie on social media with #StandTallForGiraffes to raise awareness of the campaign’s action.

Earlier this year Chantecaille became the first corporate supporter of our Stop the Illegal Wildlife Trade campaign, which seeks to protect wildlife at risk from poachers and to clamp down on the illegal trade of wild animals.

We are working with conservation charity Space for Giants to protect wildlife at risk from poachers due to support wildlife rangers, local communities and law enforcement personnel to prevent wildlife crime.

Donate to help Stop the Illegal Wildlife Trade HERE.

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