Rachel Maclean, MP for Redditch County, has heralded Government plans to ban the sale of ivory in the UK as a huge success story.
Proposals announced on Friday (6 October) will protect elephants and help combat poaching by removing opportunities for criminals to trade illegally-poached ivory.
Rachel is chair of the APPG (All Party Parliamentary Group) for Endangered Species and believes the decline in the elephant population fuelled by poaching for ivory shames our generation.
She said: “MPs probably receive more mail about animal cruelty than any other subject. We are a nation of animal lovers, and I am no exception. I am appalled and saddened by stories about how African elephants could be wiped from the face of the earth within my lifetime and so I am doubly proud of these plans.
“There are details to be thrashed out, for example how we deal with musical instruments, but I am confident nothing that can’t be resolved.
“The need for radical and robust action to protect one of the world’s most iconic and treasured species is beyond dispute. Ivory should never be seen as a commodity for financial gain or a status symbol – so we want to ban its sale. These plans will put the UK at the centre of global efforts to end the insidious trade in ivory.”
Plans will be subject to a 12-week consultation and cover items of all ages, not only those created after a certain date. In line with the approach taken by other countries, the Government is proposing narrowly-defined and carefully-targeted exemptions for items which do not contribute to the poaching of elephants and where a ban would be unwarranted. The Government will also work with conservationists, the arts and antiques sectors and other interested parties through the consultation period on how these exemptions can be defined, implemented and enforced to ensure there is no room for loopholes which continue to fuel the poaching of elephants.