We welcome the government’s announcement on its plan to ban the UK’s ivory trade with narrow exemptions. We and many others have been campaigning for this ban for a long time and are glad to see the UK will join other countries, including the USA and China, in implementing a strong ivory trade ban.
Thank you to the 60,000 WWF supporters who signed our petition urging the government to stop ivory trade. Your support has made a real difference.
What does the ban mean?
The announcement comes after a 12-week public consultation on an ivory trade ban at the end of 2017. Over 3,000 WWF supporters submitted their views, contributing to the overwhelming majority of responses in favour of the ban.
The ban will include some limited exemptions for items which do not contribute to the poaching of elephants. This includes items containing less than 10% ivory made before 1947 and instruments containing less than 20% ivory made before 1975. There will also be limited exemptions for accredited museums and for rare or important items more than 100 years old, which will be assessed by specialist institutions before exemption permits are issued.
What happens now?
No date has yet been set for the introduction of the legislation. We're urging the UK government to implement the ban without delay.
The priority now is for key Asian countries, particularly Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and Laos, to take urgent action to close legal and illegal ivory markets. An average of 55 African elephants are killed every day for their ivory tusks. Without urgent action from these countries, the plight of African elephants is likely to continue.
We will continue to fight for elephants this year and beyond, and we hope you will join us.