Breaking News! UK Government Introduces The Ivory Bill In Efforts To Ban Ivory Sales & Save Elephants From Poaching

One of the toughest bans on ivory sales in the world is a step closer to coming into force in the UK after yesterday’s introduction of the Ivory Bill.

According to a statement released by the Government, the bill covers ivory items of all ages, not only those produced after a certain date. The maximum penalty for breaching the ban will be an unlimited fine or up to five years in jail.

The Ivory Bill follows widespread interaction with environmental groups and the antique trade sector, as well as the general public. More than 70,000 people and organizations responded to a survey on the issue late last year, with over 88% of responses in favor of measures to ban ivory sales in the UK.

Tragically, the number of elephants has declined by almost a third in the last decade and around 20,000 a year are still being slaughtered because of the global demand for ivory.

The UK Government will continue to address this issue with leaders from around the world at the fourth international London Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference taking place in October.

The combination of the UK’s ban on ivory items of all ages along with narrowly-defined and carefully-targeted exemptions for items which do not contribute directly or indirectly to the poaching of elephants, delivers one of the toughest ivory bans in the world. The list of exemptions that were released in April can be found Here.

The U.S. federal ban has a rolling exemption for items over 100 years, as well as items with up to 50% ivory content. China’s ban exempts ivory “relics”, but this term is not clearly defined.

“We very much welcome the speed with which the Government has moved to introduce this important bill. The public response to the consultation demonstrated that there is overwhelming support for this tough new legislation to ban the trade of ivory in the UK,” Charlie Mayhew MBE, Founder and CEO of Tusk Trust said in a statement. “This bill will ensure that as the Government prepares to host the next international conference on the illegal wildlife trade in October, the UK will once again be taking a global lead on closing ivory markets that have resulted in the decimation of hundreds of thousands of elephants over recent years.”

May the remainder of the EU now follow in the UK’s footsteps and ban the sale of ivory, which in turn, would save the lives of many of the imperiled elephants still roaming our planet.

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