UK to Introduce 'Toughest' Ivory Ban in the World
With Europe playing a major role in the ivory trade, conservationists are hopeful the UK’s ban will pave the way for EU-wide action.
The United Kingdom will introduce a new ban on ivory sales, the government announced today. It will be one of the strictest in the world, allowing for only narrow exceptions. Violators will face up to five years in jail or an unlimited fine.
“Ivory should never be seen as a commodity for financial gain or a status symbol, so we will introduce one of the world’s toughest bans on ivory sales to protect elephants for future generations,” said British Environment Secretary Michael Gove in a press release.
Elephant poaching is at crisis levels, driven by the ivory trade. Some 30,000 African elephants are slaughtered by poachers each year, with African savanna elephant numbers plummeting 30 percent between 2007 and 2014.