April 22, 2024

Finally: The UK's ivory trade ban goes into effect

Finally: The UK’s ivory trade ban goes into effect

IFAW – International Fund for Animal Welfare

NGOs have fought for this for a long time: the British government is now implementing a strict, long-declared ban on the ivory trade

From Monday 6 June, the UK’s ivory trade will be illegal with some very limited exceptions. Violations of the ban will be prosecuted and punished with a fine of approximately €300,000 or up to five years in prison.

“This is a good day for elephants. The International Women’s Federation UK has campaigned long and hard to get the ban passed so that the UK no longer engages in the bloody ivory trade,” said James Sawyer, UNIFEM UK Regional Director. In 2018. It is even more frustrating that such delays occur before they come into effect. We now hope that other countries will follow Great Britain’s lead and thus shut down their national ivory markets as well.”

The new law prohibits trade in items containing or made from ivory, regardless of age. There are only five well-defined and narrowly defined exceptions: personal miniatures, musical instruments, items with extremely low ivory content, sales to eligible museums, and rare/important items.

On February 24, 2022, the UK government launched a digital system to register and certify exempt ivory items one would like to trade.

A short study by IFAW in 2021 found that in just two weeks more than 900 items of ivory were traded in the UK, ranging from jewelry to decorative items to walking stick handles.

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In recent years, many other countries and regions have issued bans or measures restricting the ivory trade to varying degrees, including the United States, mainland China, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Singapore and Israel. With revised regulations and new directives issued by the European Commission last December, the European Union took its toughest measures yet to restrict the ivory trade.

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For more information or interviews, please contact:

Ben Wiacek
Communications Manager EU Office
 [email protected] 
 +32 2 230 97 17
 +32 472 17 15 81 
Der IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) ist eine weltweit tätige gemeinnützige Organisation für die bessere Koexistenz von Tieren und Menschen. Wir sind in mehr als 40 Ländern der Welt und auf den Meeren im Einsatz. Wir retten und pflegen Tiere, wildern sie wieder aus und bewahren und schützen ihre natürlichen Lebensräume. Die Probleme, denen wir uns stellen, sind drängend und komplex. Um sie zu lösen, brauchen wir mutiges Handeln und kluges Denken. Wir arbeiten mit Gemeinden, Regierungen, anderen NGOs und Unternehmen zusammen. Gemeinsam finden wir neue und innovative Wege, damit sich alle Arten in ihrem Lebensraum entwickeln können. So geht’s: ifaw.org