South Shropshire MP Philip Dunne has welcomed a ban on the sale of ivory, which has been described as one of the toughest measures in the world to tackle the ivory trade and its effect on elephant populations.
The ban will cover ivory items of all ages – not just those which were produced after a certain date, with a maximum penalty for breaching the ban of an unlimited fine or up to five years in jail. There were more than 70,000 responses to the Government’s consultation, with over 88 percent of responses in favour of the ban.
Mr Dunne said: “This ban on ivory sales is government demonstrating global leadership. By introducing the toughest ban in Europe and one of the toughest in the world, we send a clear signal that the abhorrent ivory trade should become a thing of the past.
I know the devastation poaching has caused to elephant populations, driven by the illegal ivory trade, is deeply worrying to many of my constituents. I strongly support the government taking decisive action to help crack down on the ivory trade.”
The government has listed some carefully restricted exemptions, which will include items with less than 10% ivory made prior to 1947, and musical instruments with less than 20% ivory made prior to 1975 (when Asian elephants were added to the CITES treaty to protect animals). Other items will include rare and important historical items that must be at least 100 years old, for example, portrait miniatures painted on thin slivers of ivory. These will be assessed by Britain’s most prestigious museums before exemption permits are issued.