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Obama to launch major initiative to curb wildlife trafficking

July 10, 2013

Barack Obama launched a new initiative against wildlife trafficking on Monday, using his executive authority to take action against an illegal trade that is fuelling rebel wars and now threatens the survival of elephants and rhinoceroses.

The initiative, announced as the president visited Tanzania on the final stop of his African tour, was the second time in a week Obama has used an executive order to advance environmental policy, after announcing a sweeping new climate change plan.

Monday's executive order would set up a presidential task force to draw up a new strategy for cracking down on the criminal gangs behind the explosion in trafficking, as well as choke off demand for elephant ivory, rhino tusk and other animal parts.

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