Animal Defenders International

 

Animal Defenders International

Have your say on the ivory trade in the UK!

Posted: 8 December 2017. Updated: 11 December 2017

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The UK Government is currently seeking views from the public on its plans to ban the sale of ivory within, as well as to and from, the UK.

ADI will be submitting a full response to the government consultation, but the elephants need you to speak up for them too and before Friday 29th December!

Global elephant populations are rapidly declining, with 20,000-30,000 elephants killed every year. Meanwhile, the ivory trade has grown considerably, with consumer demand fuelling both the legal and illegal trades. The UK has been identified as the largest supplier to the world’s ivory markets and the biggest exporter to China and Hong Kong, two of the major markets. Exemptions proposed for the UK ban would result in some ivory pieces having commercial value, risking the continuation of global demand, opportunity for illegal trade and unrelenting poaching risks for elephant populations.

How to take part

The online consultation can be found HERE and you can save a draft of your response until you are ready to submit. None of the questions are compulsory, so you may answer as many or as few as you wish. The consultation consists of many technical and in-depth questions. If you would like to address just the main concerns with the UK proposals, please follow our guide below.

Introduction: Indicate whether you are responding as an individual and based in the UK, or otherwise

Individual details: Enter your name, email address and whether you would like your response to be confidential

Consultation questions – suggested responses:

1. Do you agree with the proposed ban?
Select ‘Other’ and insert the following comment:
There must be a full ban on the UK ivory trade. If implemented, the proposed exemptions would continue to give value to ivory items, perpetuating demand. The UK has been identified as the “largest supplier to the world’s ivory markets” and the biggest exporter to China and Hong Kong. It is also the largest exporter of art and antiques in Europe, a trade linked with illegal ivory sales. UK online auctions, through which an estimated 1,000 ivory pieces are sold each week, could potentially facilitate undetected illegal sales with the ban exemptions.

With no date-based restriction placed on the proposed exemptions the sale of new ivory in musical instruments, de minimis and items of artistic or cultural relevance would be permitted. Such legal sales create a loophole for illegal ivory to be sold providing a potential route for illegal markets to operate. This is particularly important with other countries tightening the trade of ivory, and illegal traffickers looking for opportunities to exploit.

The general public and the arts, cultural and historical sectors should be able to retain existing items containing ivory, and loan, gift or bequeath them to other individuals or establishments, but not permitted to profit in any way from the sale of these items. Only a full ban on the trade of ivory will effectively protect elephant populations and help stamp out the illegal trade.

2. – 8. Skip and go on to question 9

9. Do you agree that the Government should include an exemption to allow the continued sale of musical instruments containing ivory?

Select ‘No’ and insert the following comment:
The Government should not allow an exemption for the continued sale of musical instruments containing ivory. No form of ivory should be traded for commercial purposes because giving value to ivory items continues the potential for illegal markets to operate and fuels demand for the product.

10. – 11. Skip and go on to question 12

12. Do you agree that the Government should include a de minimis exemption to an ivory ban?

Select ‘No’ and insert the following comment:
The Government should not allow an exemption for the continued sale of items containing small amounts of ivory. No form of ivory should be traded for commercial purposes because giving value to ivory items continues the potential for illegal markets to operate and fuels demand for the product. It would also be very difficult to determine the origin and date of de minimis ivory as small samples of ivory cannot be reliably dated.

13. – 16. Skip and go on to question 17

17. Do you agree that the Government should include an exemption to our ivory ban to allow the continued sale of items of artistic, cultural, or historic significance?

Select ‘No’ and insert the following comment:
The Government should not allow an exemption for the continued sale of ivory for items of artistic, cultural, or historic significance. No form of ivory should be traded for commercial purposes because giving value to ivory items continues the potential for illegal markets to operate and fuels demand for the product. Such items could however be used, loaned, gifted and bequeathed.

18. – 19. Skip and go on to question 20

20. Do you agree that the Government should include an exemption to allow continued sales of items containing ivory to museums or between museums?

Select ‘No’ and insert the following comment:
The Government should not allow an exemption for the continued sale of ivory to museums or between museums. No form of ivory should be traded for commercial purposes because giving value to ivory items continues the potential for illegal markets to operate and fuels demand for the product. Such items could however be, loaned, gifted and bequeathed.

21. Skip and go on to question 22

22. Do you think we should consider any other exemptions to this ivory ban?

Select ‘No’ and insert the following comment:
No exemptions should be made for the sale of ivory. Any legal sales can provide cover for an illegal market to operate and continues to fuel demand, which can contribute to continued poaching of elephants. Ultimately there should be no opportunity for anyone to profit from the sale of ivory.

23. – 27. Skip these questions and enter your email address if you would like to receive a receipt and copy of your response.

Thank you so much for taking action for the elephants!

© Animal Defenders International 2018