Action for Elephants UK will be holding a gathering outside Westminster on 6 Feb, when a ban on the UK ivory trade will be debated in Parliament.
The debate was triggered by a petition reaching 100,000 signatures.
We will be joined by Born Free Foundation, IFAW and Humane Society International, and we’re pleased to have the support of other NGOs for the event. The action aims to draw public and media attention to the urgent need for the UK government to implement a total ban on all ivory trade in the UK. The Conservative Party pledged such a ban in 2 election manifestos, yet it continues to stall on delivering its pledge.
While other countries of the world have brought in total bans on ivory trade – including the USA and China, the world’s biggest ivory markets – the UK government has so far refused to honour its commitments and show global leadership in ending ivory trade.
- Ivory is openly and legally sold in the UK, at auctions, shops, street markets, and online
- The legal ivory trade in the UK feeds one of the largest markets for ivory in Europe
- The existence of a legal ivory trade serves as a cover for illegal sales of ivory, which in turn continues to fuel the killing of tens of thousands of elephants each year.
- The laws that attempt to regulate the ivory trade in the UK have proved to be ineffective and unworkable. The police and the courts don’t have the resources to monitor the trade or prosecute all cases where the law is broken.
- At the CITES conference in September 2016, the international delegates adopted a resolution which recommends that ‘all parties and non-parties in whose jurisdiction there is a legal domestic market for ivory that is contributing to poaching or illegal trade, take all necessary legislative, regulatory and enforcement measures to close their domestic markets for commercial trade in raw and worked ivory as a matter of urgency’.
We hope that this debate will help to push through the total ban on domestic trade in ivory that the UK government has promised for so long, and which is a critical step in the fight to end poaching and save elephants from extinction in the wild.