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Government consultation calls for evidence on ivory trade

Wednesday 12 June 2019

The Governments new review on the Ivory Act 2018 is asking for the thoughts of specialists which in turn could lead to other animal species becoming protected from the trade in ivory.

A range of animals including hippos, mammoths and warthogs could join elephants in one of the toughest bans on elephant ivory in the world. The call for evidence, which is keen to hear from specialists across relevant sectors in order to understand about the trade in ivory from other species, is currently open for responses.

The 12-week call for evidence aims to ensure that the latest information is considered, and the Ivory Act is used to its fullest to back the fight to protect wildlife using the regulatory powers within the Act to extend the ban on items made from other ivory-bearing species.

Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey said: “Our ivory ban is one of the toughest in the world, demonstrates that we see the elephant ivory trade as a thing of the past and will help the global effort to protect elephants for future generations. But there are many more precious species, like the hippo and walrus, which could fall victim to the trade in ivory.

“We said we would consider extending the Act to other species. This call for evidence will help inform government policy on this.

“This call for evidence will help us to understand if we need to take any further action to protect these animals from the trade in their ivory. We want to hear from specialists in this field to inform any next steps.”

The full list of species being considered in the call for evidence are as follows:

  • common hippopotamus
  • walrus
  • narwhal
  • sperm whale
  • killer whale
  • common warthog
  • desert warthog
  • mammoth

Whilst extinct, the mammoth is included in the call for evidence because trade in mammoth ivory may be linked to the trade in elephant ivory, due to their similarity.

The deadline for responding is Thursday 22 August 2019.

Submit evidence

What Propertymark is doing

NAVA Propertymark responded to Defra’s consultation on the 6 October 2017 which seeked the views on banning UK sales of Ivory and looked for evidence on the effect this change might have.

We argued that the Government’s focus should be on enforcing current legislation and closing any loopholes that currently allow illegal trade to continue instead of moving forward with a total ban on all ivory sales. With the proper controls in place and increased checks to improve enforcement the illicit trade of ivory would be reduced which in turn would discourage poaching, which continues to decimate elephant populations.

Full consultation response

NAVA Propertymark is also partnered with Border Force on an initiative to remove endangered species items which lack provenance from circulation in a responsible manner.

Read more

NAVA Propertymark is working on resources to help members understand how to comply with the Ivory Act 2018 before it comes into force. We will inform members once these have been published.

We are currently seeking clarification from Defra for when the Act will come into force, we expect this to be in Autumn 2019.