The sale and export of almost all ivory items may be coming to an end here soon in the UK at least. New government plans may be doing the right thing.
While the UK already has a ban on the trade of raw ivory tusks, it has become the world’s leading exporter of legal ivory carving antiques in more recent years, as reported by the BCC. Environment Secretary Michael Gove has announced a consultation to end to the trade of ivory in all ages. The government, of course, say there will be a few exceptions, for instance, musical instruments and items of cultural importance but for the most part, it will be banned.
According to Michael Gove:
“The decline in the elephant population fuelled by poaching for ivory shames our generation. The need for radical and robust action to protect one of the world’s most iconic and treasured species is beyond dispute. These plans will put the UK front and center of global efforts to end the insidious trade in ivory.”
Because of the UK’s current stature, this change will make a huge difference to the global ivory trade in general. It is very important that we all make changes on a country-level in order to resolve the issue globally. Prince William has been a long time campaigner against the ivory trade and has been urging the UK to pass a total ban for some time now. During a wildlife conference in Vietnam, he said that ivory was not something to be desired and when removed from an elephant that it was no longer beautiful.
Consultation on this will run until December 29th and after that time we will learn whether or not the bad will go through. Most believe it will as these proposals are being driven by concern for the 20,000 elephants that are slaughtered by poachers every single year. Whether or not there are other motives at play here I do hope this goes through, the elephants are well on their way to extinction and it is up to us all to save them.