Making a series of outspoken speeches about the environment during a conservationists conference at St James’s Palace in London, the Prince of Wales announced a meeting of heads of state to take place in the coming months to fight what he deems an “emerging militarised crisis,” the Guardian writes.
“We face one of the most serious threats to wildlife ever, and we must treat it as a battle – because it is precisely that,” said Charles. “Organised bands of criminals are stealing and slaughtering elephants, rhinoceros and tigers, as well as large numbers of other species, in a way that has never been seen before. They are taking these animals, sometimes in unimaginably high numbers, using the weapons of war – assault rifles, silencers, night-vision equipment and helicopters.”
The Prince cautioned that precious rhino horns, tiger parts and ivory, hunted for their supposed Chinese medicinal value, were heavily endangered. He dismissed the idea that the trade was based on belief systems, blaming a desire for claiming a status symbol instead.
“The bulk of the intended use is no longer for products that can be classified as traditional medicines. Instead, many more people in rapidly growing economies are seeking exotic products that reflect their economic prosperity and status,” he told The Guardian.
Charles and his son William have called on celebrities to get on board and publicise their opposition to the trade, as well as young people in countries such as China to be more educated of the repercussions of their actions.