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13 July 2017

In response to Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson saying today that an all-out ban on ivory sales could still be introduced, Heather Sohl, Chief Advisor on Wildlife at WWF-UK said:

“We welcome the news that the government might be ready to get tough on the ivory trade and send a clear message to the world that the UK is taking a stand for elephants. A UK ivory ban was first suggested in the 2010 conservative party manifesto so this is a promise that many have been waiting a long time for.

"With an elephant being poached on average every 25 minutes it’s clear that urgent action is needed to preserve this iconic species.

"We also want to see the introduction of sentencing guidelines for illegal wildlife trade offences. Though traffickers could face up to 7 years in prison, unfortunately we find that sentencing is inconsistent and lenient. Guidelines would ensure that offences are treated as the serious crimes that they are, as well as sending a clear message that the UK will not tolerate the illegal wildlife trade. Global leadership on the closure of domestic ivory markets is particularly important before London hosts the Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade next year.”