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Apologies if the image shocks, but the Tories have spent seven years dithering about whether to ban ivory trading, while the UK remains the world’s main exporter of ivory.

The Tories promised to ban ivory sales in their 2010 and 2015 manifestos, and did absolutely nothing about it.

In 2017, they dropped all pretence – possibly at the urging of a certain third party – and didn’t bother mentioning it in their manifesto.

Meanwhile, in its own 2017 manifesto, Labour introduced a promise to ban ivory sales.

So the Tories had to u-turn, didn’t they?

Environment Secretary (God help us) Michael Gove has launched a 12-week consultation, ending on December 29. It suggests a series of exemptions, detailed below.

But This Writer isn’t sure anybody needs to be worried about that.

Who reckons the Tories will kick it into the long grass again, before quietly u-turning one more time when nobody’s looking?

The UK will impose a ban on ivory sales to help bring an end to the poaching of elephants, under plans announced by Environment Secretary Michael Gove.

The proposals will protect elephants and help combat poaching by removing opportunities for criminals to trade illegally-poached ivory. Today’s plans will be subject to a 12 week consultation and cover items of all ages, not only those created after a certain date.

In line with the approach taken by other countries, the government is proposing certain narrowly-defined and carefully-targeted exemptions for items which do not contribute to the poaching of elephants and where a ban would be unwarranted.

The consultation proposes four categories of exemptions:

  • Musical instruments;
  • Items containing only a small proportion of ivory, a de minimis exemption;
  • Items of significant historic, artistic or cultural value;
  • And sales to and between museums

The government will work with conservationists, the arts and antiques sectors and other interested parties through the consultation period on exactly how these exemptions can be defined, implemented and enforced so as to ensure there is no room for loopholes which continue to fuel the poaching of elephants.

Source: Government sets out plans for ivory ban – GOV.UK


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