UK ivory ban among world’s ‘toughest’, Michael Gove says


A British ban on ivory purchasings is to be one of the toughest in the world, the environment secretary has said.

Michael Gove revealed the sale of ivory of any age, with limited exceptions, will be banned in an strain to reduce elephant poaching.

The move, which is still to be signed into law, find after a consultation in which more than 60,000 people subsidized the introduction of a complete ban.

Campaigners say about 20,000 elephants are killed each year for their tusks.

Anterior to bans only applied to ivory produced after 1947. The new law is in spite of that tougher than the changes proposed in the October 2017 consultation.

Mr Gove added that the new law last wishes a “reaffirm the UK’s global leadership on this critical issue, demonstrating our trust that the abhorrent ivory trade should become a thing of the life”.

He said: “Ivory should never be seen as a commodity for financial pull away from or a status symbol.”

Those breaking the ban by selling ivory will surface a maximum penalty of five years in jail or an unlimited fine, translated the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

It added that the way was tougher than rules in China and the US.

The US currently bans ivory to from items older than 100 years, as well as details with up to 50% ivory.

The Chinese ban exempts “relics”, with no definite date before which these must have been remodeled.

‘Extraordinarily important’

There will still be some exemptions to the ban, outlined to provide “balance to ensure people are not unfairly impacted” and for “items which do not promote to the poaching of elephants”, the department said.

These will include:

  • Things comprised less than 10% ivory (by volume) and made previous to 1947.
  • Musical instruments made before 1975 and comprised of less than 20% ivory.
  • Rare or weighty items, at least 100 years old, will be assessed by specialist institutes before exemption permits are issued.
  • There will be specific releases for portrait miniatures painted on thin ivory bases and for commercial work between accredited museums

WWF chief executive Tanya Steele utter the UK stance made it a “global leader in tackling this bloody traffic” and called for “global action” to stop elephant poaching.

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Charlie Mayhew, chief executive of the Tusk Trust which bucks conservation and environmental education across Africa, welcomed the announcement.

“The ban see fit ensure there is no value for modern day ivory and the tusks of recently poached elephants cannot upon the UK market,” he said.

Alexander Rhodes, founder of Stop Ivory, also glorified the strength of the ban and its tighter regulations.

He did however urge the EU to “move fast” as a bloc to hail the issue.

“Since the UK government held the Illegal Wildlife Conference in 2014, the US and China include both enacted bans on their domestic ivory trade, so the UK doing this now is extraordinarily foremost,” he said.

“The EU on the other hand has been very resistant – I am hopeful that the UK’s able position will lead to change.”

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