Protest at Auction House to Call For an End to Ivory Trade in the UK
On 18 May 2016 we held a peaceful protest outside Woolley and Wallis Auction House in Salisbury to protest the ongoing commercial trade of ivory in the UK.
- In the auction on 17-18 May of pieces of Asian art, there were 54 lots of ivory for sale.
- The continuation of a legal trade in the UK for pre-1947 ivory serves as a cover for the illegal trade in more recently poached ivory.
- Rampant poaching continues to decimate elephant populations in Africa. Around 100 elephants are killed every day for their tusks. Most of the ivory ends up in Asian countries where the demand for ivory is greatest, especially China.
If elephants are to survive, there needs to be a global ban on ivory, with each country playing its part in shutting down its domestic ivory market.
Ivory is openly sold at antiques markets, auction houses and other retail outlets throughout the UK. These are examples from an antiques stall in Portobello Road, London.
The laws in the UK for selling ivory are complicated and difficult for all parties to understand. They rely largely on the sellers themselves making the judgement on the ivory piece’s age. But even experts can be fooled by expertly aged ivory, and it can be difficult to say with complete certainty exactly how old a piece is. Antiques markets, auction houses and individual sellers of ivory are not sufficiently monitored and prosecutions are rarely made. The system is wide open to abuse.
As long as there is a market for ivory, the killing of elephants will continue.