The United Kingdom Government’s Ivory Bill successfully completed its passage through the parliamentary process this week – the Ivory Bill is now due to receive Royal Assent, hopefully before Christmas.
A big THANK YOU to everyone (especially Two Million Tusks for their vital investigative and 2017 reporting work, “Ivory – The Grey Areas,”) that contributed to the removal of the vast majority of ‘legal’ United Kingdom ivory trading – trading that risked stimulating and legitimising demand for modern ivory and therefore presented a threat to the survival of the species.
The Ivory Bill’s Royal Assent concludes the United Kingdom Ivory Consultation process that commenced in October 2017 and has been closely followed since.
However, there is still work to be done in the United Kingdom to urgently close loop-holes for elephant hunting trophy (ie. tusks) to be imported into the United Kingdom (plus other such trophy importations), and protecting other ivory bearing species:
It has been noted that in July 2018, DEFRA’s media release stated that the “Ivory ban could protect hippos, walruses and narwhals – A consultation on extending the scope of the Ivory Bill to protect hippos, walruses and narwhals from the trade in ivory has been announced by the government”…..this extension is hopefully now due to follow urgently after the Ivory Bill’s Royal Assent – however, I am reliably informed that there could be a six month (or more) period before the Commencement Order is given – “This time will be spent formulating the Regulations that the Bill requires, the introduction of any secondary legislation required, the setting up of the registration and certification processes especially the IT systems and databases to be used.” These systems will be monitored “to ensure that the intent of the Bill, soon to be Act is properly carried out.”
Plus of course, pressure needs to be applied to eradicate the international scourge of ‘legal’ and illicit ivory trading (such as Laos, Viet Nam (see also TRAFFIC’s December 2018 report, “Tusk to Trinket“), Cambodia and Japan), plus elephant poaching and needless hunting attrition.
“We now have a UK ivory ban!,” IFAW, 11 December 2018