The introduction of a ban on ivory sales in the UK shows we’re a world leader in animal welfare and protection, the MP for Redditch County Rachel Maclean has said.

Rachel, who is also Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Endangered Species, has welcomed the Government’s decision to press ahead with a UK ivory sales ban following the outcome of the public consultation on the proposals.

In a bid to help protect elephants for future generations, robust measures will now be introduced through new legislation to end the scourge of ivory sales.

The ban will cover ivory items of all ages. The maximum available penalty for breaching the ban will be an unlimited fine or up to five years in jail.

The Government received more than 70,000 responses to its consultation, with over 88 per cent of responses in favour of the ban.

It’s hoped the UK’s ban on ivory sales will help reverse the decline in the number of elephants. In the last decade alone, the number of elephants has declined by almost a third and around 20,000 a year are still being slaughtered due to the global demand for ivory.

Rachel said: “I am appalled and saddened by stories about how African elephants could be wiped from the face of the earth within my lifetime, so I’m absolutely delighted the UK will be introducing one of the toughest bans on ivory sales in the world.

“This ban demonstrates how the UK is a world leader in animal welfare and protection and I couldn’t be prouder.

“The UK is stepping up by leading the way in the fight to end the barbaric and abhorrent ivory trade.”