UK finally steps-up to Chinese ivory efforts


Musical instruments will be exempt from the proposed ban, but not other antiques. Photo credit - Pixabay


The UK Government has revealed plans which would see it follow China's lead and ban the trade of ivory


In August, we reported that the UK had been ''named and shamed' as the global capital of the legal ivory trade.

That news was all the more embarrassing for the British Government, given that the ruling Conservative Party had promised in their election manifestos of both 2010 and 2015 to act to ban the trade of ivory.

To many observers, it seemed that the issue had simply been swept under the carpet, or at least put to one side given the legislative preoccupation with Brexit.

Following pressure from campaigners, and the example set by China with action to close the domestic ivory market during 2017, the UK Government has finally acted. Or at least, has revealed plans to act following a consultation on the matter.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove's plans would ban the sale and export of almost ivory, excluding musical instruments and a handful of other objects.

This is a significantly more sweeping proposal than many environmental campaigners had expected. London is a key part of the global antiquities market, and there had been objections from that industry that such a ban would adversely harm their trade.

The proposal remains just that, at this stage - but at long last the British Government seems to be taking the issue seriously.

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