Ban on Ivory Sales

TITLE: Fiona Bruce MP welcomes confirmation of Government ban on ivory sales
Fiona Bruce MP has welcomed the Government’s confirmation that a ban on ivory sales will be introduced.
The Environment Secretary Gove confirmed that the UK will introduce a ban on ivory sales and has set out the Government’s plans to help protect elephants for future generations.
The maximum available penalty for breaching the ban will be an unlimited fine or up to five years in jail. The exemptions from this ban have been tightened since the Government published its proposals for consultation, but still provide balance to ensure people and organisation; are not unfairly impacted such as Museums or musicians whose instruments are old and contain a relative small proportion of ivory.

Environment Secretary, Michael Gove said:
“Ivory should never be seen as a commodity for financial gain or a status symbol, so we will introduce one of the world’s toughest bans on ivory sales to protect elephants for future generations. The ban on ivory sales we will bring into law will reaffirm the UK’s global leadership on this critical issue, demonstrating our belief that the abhorrent ivory trade should become a thing of the past.”

The number of elephants has declined by almost a third in the last decade and around 20,000 a year are still being slaughtered due to the global demand for ivory. As profits become ever greater, the illegal wildlife trade has become a transnational organised enterprise, estimated to be worth up to £17 billion a year. The further decline of elephants would also deprive some of the poorest countries in the world of their valuable natural capital, affecting economic growth and sustainable development.

John Stephenson, CEO Stop Ivory said:
This is a significant day for the future of elephants. The UK Government has taken a momentous step. The proposed ban, with its narrow and clear exemptions, places the UK at the forefront of the international determination to halt the extermination of elephant populations by banning trade in ivory. The Secretary of State for DEFRA has shown clear leadership in demanding legislation whilst there is still time to secure a future for elephants in the wild. The end of the ivory trade in the UK removes any hiding place for the trade in illegal ivory, and sends a powerful message to the world that ivory will no longer be valued as a commodity. Ivory belongs on an elephant and when the buying stops the killing will stop.

Fiona said:

“This is an issue of great significance and one that I have spoken of in Parliament having been moved by the plight of these animals following a working trip to Tanzania as a Member of Parliament’s International Development Select Committee. It is welcome news that the Government will be introducing a ban and continue on the mission to reverse the decline in the number of elephants. This issue is a global issue which harms the poorest countries the most. For example – by reducing the tourist trade on which many poor African families are dependent – as I was told in Tanzania, people who pay for safaris want to see elephants. But especially tragic is the cruelty these majestic animals endure at the hands of brutal ivory poachers – around 55 African elephants are killed for their ivory a day, their tusks turned into carvings and trinkets. I am proud that under this Government we have become a global leader in challenging the terrible ivory trade.”

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