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Scope of Ivory Bill extended

Thursday 05 July 2018

On 4 July 2018 the UK Government announced that it will consult on extending the scope of the Ivory Bill to protect hippos, walruses and narwhals from the trade in ivory.

The Ivory Bill is currently making its way through Parliament and includes a power for Ministers to extend the proposed ban on selling items made from elephant ivory to other ivory-bearing species, which also include sperm whales and killer whales.

Hippos and walruses are listed as ‘vulnerable’ on the Red List produced by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The Government has also brought forward an amendment to the Ivory Bill to ensure that, if necessary, ivory from all animals could be banned and not simply those covered by Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). This would mean the ban is extended to ivory from warthogs or mammoths, for example, if a case for their inclusion was made during consultation.

A further Government amendment has also been tabled, imposing a size restriction on the items that can quality for the pre-1918 portrait miniatures exemption. Following evidence provided at the Committee Stage, the amendment states that the visible surface area of a portrait miniature must be less than 320 square centimetres.

No date has been set as to when the consultation on extending the ban will be released. Ministers, have, however, confirmed that it will be published as soon as possible and will not delay the introduction of the ban on dealings in elephant ivory.

Keep an eye out for our Ivory Bill Fact Sheet - coming soon!