gov.uk- Press release : Introduction of ivory bill boosts fight against elephant poaching
The Ivory Bill introduced to Parliament today will be the toughest in Europe - and one of the toughest in the world.
One of the toughest bans on ivory sales in the world is a step closer to coming into force in the UK as the Government today (23 May 2018) introduced the Ivory Bill.
The introduction of this Bill means that robust measures set out last month by Environment Secretary Michael Gove are a step closer to becoming law, and helping to protect elephants for future generations.
The Bill covers ivory items of all ages, not only those produced after a certain date, subject to some narrow, carefully-defined exemptions. The maximum penalty for breaching the ban will be an unlimited fine or up to five years in jail.
The Bill follows widespread engagement with environmental groups and the antiques trade sector as well as the general public. More than 70,000 people and organisations responded to Defra’s consultation on an ivory ban late last year, with over 88% of responses in favour of measures to ban ivory sales in the UK.
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 continues to show global leadership in this area and in October will play host to leaders from across the globe at the fourth international conference on the illegal wildlife trade.
Environment Secretary, Michael Gove said:
Elephants are one of the world’s most iconic animals and we must do all we can to protect them for future generations. That’s why we will introduce one of the world’s toughest bans on ivory sales. The overwhelmingly positive response to our consultation shows the strength of public feeling to protect these magnificent animals.
We have acted quickly in introducing this Bill, less than six weeks after publishing our consultation responses. I hope this serves as a clear sign of our global leadership on this vital issue.