Nearly 40 other Peers and MPs attended an event at Westminster on Monday (5 February 2018) organised by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Endangered Species, which is chaired by Rachel, to highlight the elephant poaching crisis and public support for a UK ivory ban.
On display were some of the many ivory items recently donated by members of the public to IFAW’s UK ivory surrender, which they invited people to give up to be destroyed as part of a campaign to close the UK’s ivory market and save this iconic species from the threat of extinction.
IFAW ran previous successful public ivory surrenders in the UK in 2004, 2011 and 2014, but has received far more donations in the recent surrender which ran from mid-July last year to the end of January. Items received range from whole raw and worked tusks to statues, carvings and jewellery.
Philip Mansbridge, UK Director of IFAW, said: “There is clearly huge public momentum in the UK for an ivory ban. With elephant populations at an all-time low and the species facing extinction due to the ivory poaching crisis which is killing at least 20,000 elephants each year, it is fantastic to see so many people keen to give up their ivory.”
Rachel added: “The UK is declaring it wants to be a world leader in tackling the illegal wildlife trade, and this is our chance to introduce some of the toughest legislation in the world that will close down UK ivory markets once and for all. We need to make sure the ivory ban consultation is followed up rapidly with legislation that closes UK markets by October. We cannot afford a delay for the sake of the dwindling elephant population.”
The Government recently announced it had received more than 70,000 responses to its ivory ban consultation, with the overwhelming majority supporting a ban.