Following a consultation, which received over 70,000 responses with 88 per cent in favour, the Environment Secretary has announced today that the Government has confirmed a UK ban on ivory sales. This government is committed to protecting our natural environment, and a key part of this is ensuring stronger protections for animal welfare. So I am really pleased to see this progressive step taken to combat the indefensible trade in illegal ivory.
The ban is comprehensive, as it will cover ivory items of all ages – not just those which were produced after a certain date. To deter criminals from engaging in the trade of ivory, the maximum available penalty for breaching the ban will be an unlimited fine or up to five years in jail.
The Government is introducing one of the world’s toughest bans on ivory sales to protect elephants for future generations, looking after our planet and protecting animal rights. Ivory should never be seen as a commodity for financial gain or a status symbol, and this will reaffirm the UK’s global leadership on this critical issue, demonstrating our belief that the abhorrent ivory trade should become a thing of the past.