‘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 centre of global efforts to end the insidious trade in ivory.’  Michael Gove

    Finally putting elephants first, not the ivory trade!

    Great news as the UK proposes ban on ALL ivory trade, including antiques!


    On 6 October 2017 the government announced its proposal for a full ban on all ivory trade in the UK, including antiques, and the opening of a 12-week consultation period.

    This ban has been a long time coming. It’s shameful that the UK has lagged behind on this for so long,  while other countries moved ahead with bans – even China got there first.  But now that the proposal is finally here, we welcome it wholeheartedly and look forward to seeing its robust and speedy implementation.

    But first there will be a consultation process, in which all interested parties are encouraged to take part.  

    Please add your voice to this historic step for elephants – the end of the UK’s ivory trade!

    We encourage everyone to take part in the consultation!  This is our last chance to persuade the government that this ban is critical for the future of elephants, and that this country will no longer be part of the global ivory trade that is pushing the species to extinction. We need to ensure that the ban is enacted with no room for loopholes, no ambiguities in interpretation, and is backed up with the funding and resources needed to implement it. It also must ensure that penalties are severe enough to act as a credible deterrent to these crimes.

    Remember that the opposition (the antiques trade) will be presenting strong countering arguments to maximize exemptions and special allowances for antiques containing ivory.

    There are three ways to respond to the Consultation:

    1. Complete the online survey (click here)

    2. By email: ivoryconsultation@defra.gsi.gov.uk

    3. By post: International Team – Ivory consultation, Area 1E, Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, London SW1P 3JR

    Don’t forget – the deadline is 29th December 2017. ACT NOW!

    Here is the AFE submission to the consultation. You can use use as much or as little of it as you like – feel free to copy and paste, and to add your own comments and views.

    If you prefer to write a letter instead, below are some key points you could include.

    * Please encourage your friends and family to submit responses to the consultation. Get your kids to write in and to ask their friends and their class to do so. Every response counts!

    * Write to your MP and urge them to make their own submission to the consultation. (Find your MP here.)

    Other guidance

    Ban UK ivory sales
    All you need to know about the consultation and how you can help.

    International Wildlife Bond (IWB) Consultation Guidance Page

    IFAW Consultation page

    Reports and studies

    Ivory: The Grey Areas,Two Million Tusks, Oct 2017. A new study of ivory sales in UK auction houses.

    The Elephant in the Sale Room University of Portsmouth

    Close Domestic Ivory Markets to Secure the Future of Elephants, Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA)


    Government sets out plans for ivory ban

    Great news as the UK finally moves forward on a total ivory ban!
    David Cowdrey

    UK ivory trade ban to help end ‘shame’ of elephant poaching
    Damian Carrington

    Ivory trade to be banned in UK ‘to protect elephants
    Matt McGrath

    Britain announces plan to ban antique ivory trade
    Dario Thuburn


    Letter and email writing guide

    The online survey is complicated and very technical and may be off-putting to many who wish to respond. You may choose to write a letter or send an email instead – these too will be accepted as responses to the consultation.

    Letters and emails tend to be more personal and are better received when they are written in your own words. Below we list some of the main issues that you may want to include; some of them may be important to you and others less important. It is up to each individual to choose the issues they may wish to include. There may be other issues not on the list and you are encouraged to include these also.

    Key issues relating to the ban include:

    • Total ban on ivory trade long overdue
    • Elephants facing extinction
    • Elephants can be economically beneficial through tourism
    • Elephants are a keystone species and essential for functioning habitats
    • International trade ban initially successful, until undermined with ‘one-off’ ivory sales
    • Laundering illegal ivory through legal markets
    • Ivory sales are a very small part of the UK antiques trade
    • Ban will not hurt existing ivory collections and no ivory will be destroyed
    • Thoughts on the four exemptions: musical instruments, museums, items with small amounts of ivory (known as the de minimis exemption), historic/cultural/artistic pieces
    • Thoughts on enforcement of new legislation (who, how, funding, conviction/sentencing for breaches)
    • Quality of expertise to validate/certificate exempt ivory pieces


    The consultation is open until 11.45 on 29th December 2017 for all responses.

    Letters can be sent to:

    International Team – Ivory Consultation
    1E Nobel House
    17 Smith Square
    London SW1P 3JR

    Emails can be sent to: 




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