Banning the Ivory Trade

James Brokenshire has welcomed the Environment Secretary’s announcement that the UK will impose a ban on ivory sales to help bring an end to the poaching of elephants. The proposals aim to protect elephants and help combat poaching by removing opportunities for criminals to trade illegally-poached ivory.

Given the importance of this historic proposal, the plans are currently subject to a 12 week consultation closing on 29 December 2017. The proposed ban covers items of all ages, not only those created after a certain date.

As part of its efforts to tackle the illegal wildlife trade, the Government hosted and led the London Conference on Wildlife Trafficking in 2014, where over 40 countries adopted the London Declaration in an effort to save iconic species from being poached to the brink of extinction. In addition, the UK has also established the £13 million Illegal Wildlife Challenge Fund to support projects in the developing world. Further to these developments, the Environment Secretary has announced that the UK will host a fourth international conference on the illegal wildlife in October 2018, bringing global leaders to London to tackle the strategic challenges of the trade

UK leadership on this issue is also having a global impact, with Britain’s work as part of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), also leading to the USA and China announcing plans to close their ivory markets.

Commenting, James said:

“Trade in ivory and ivory products encourages poaching, leading to the unnecessary deaths of large numbers of elephants and other tusked animals every year. According to the World Wildlife Fund, over 80% of all the raw ivory traded comes from poached African elephants and this needs to be stopped if we are to preserve these species for future generations.”

You can contribute to the consultation here.