Non-Elephant Ivory Trade

Closed 22 Aug 2019

Opened 30 May 2019

Overview

This call for evidence concerns the trade in ivory from species other than elephants taking place within the UK, and exports from and imports into the UK. The species in scope of this call for evidence are:

  • Common hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius)
  • Killer whale, also known as orca (Orcinus orca)
  • Narwhal (Monodon monoceros)
  • Sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus)
  • Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus)
  • Common warthog (Phacochoerus africanus)
  • Desert warthog (Phacochoerus aethiopicus)
  • Mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius)

We are interested in receiving evidence on trade in ivory from these species and are particularly interested to hear from those with a specialist knowledge on the conservation of these species, the trade in ivory from these species, antique dealers and collectors, the musical instrument industry, and any other interested parties.

Why We Are Consulting

The Ivory Act 2018 will bring into force one of the toughest domestic bans on elephant ivory sales in the world.

The Ivory Act contains a power that allows the government to seek to extend the ban on elephant ivory sales to other ivory bearing species through secondary legislation. During the Parliamentary passage of the Ivory Bill, Members of Parliament questioned the extent of the trade in ivory from species other than elephants. In response, the government committed to gather evidence on this issue, as set out in this call for evidence.

At present we are not proposing any changes to restrictions on the trade in non-elephant ivory. Instead, we are seeking evidence in order to gain a fuller understanding of the issue.

The call for evidence document summarises evidence that government is aware of on the trade in ivory from these species. Information gaps remain and there are differing views on the impact of the trade in ivory and associated hunting (legal and illegal) across these species. For example, government would value further information about the current UK and global markets in non-elephant ivory and if these markets pose a threat to their long-term survival or are linked to illegal wildlife trade. 

Evidence provided through this call for evidence will help inform what, if any, action could be taken to further restrict the trade in ivory from one, some or more of these species. Possible actions may include, amending the definition of “ivory” in the Ivory Act 2018 to include ivory from other species or other regulatory measures. If government did decide to propose further restrictions on the trade in ivory from these species, the proposal would be subject to a consultation.

What Happens Next

The Government aims to publish a summary of responses within 12 weeks of the call for evidence closing

Audiences

  • Environmental campaigners
  • Animal welfare campaigners
  • Non-Government Organisation
  • Professional and Membership Organisations/Agencies

Interests

  • Natural environment
  • Animals
  • Conservation
  • Marine Conservation
  • Wildlife crime
  • Wildlife management
  • Protecting wildlife
  • Whales and dolphins