Banning UK sales of ivory

Closed 29 Dec 2017

Opened 6 Oct 2017


The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is seeking views on banning UK sales of elephant ivory, and seeking evidence on the effect this change will have.

This consultation applies to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, however we welcome responses from organisations and people based outside of the UK.

It includes the consultation document and the impact assessment which can be found at the bottom of this page.

Before responding to the questions set out in the consultation, we recommend that you read at least the consultation document setting out our proposals.

Why your views matter

Since 2006 the total number of elephants in Africa has decreased by approximately 21%, with numbers of savanna elephants alone declining by 30% (equal to 144,000 elephants) between 2007 and 2014, primarily due to poaching.

We must do what we can to bring an end to the horrific trade in ivory that is putting one of the world's most iconic species at risk of extinction.

We are proposing to introduce a total ban on UK sales of ivory that could contribute either directly or indirectly to the continued poaching of elephants. The ban would prohibit UK sales of ivory, and the import and export of ivory for sale to and from the UK, subject to carefully defined exemptions. This measure would not affect the right to own, gift, inherit or bequeath items containing ivory. 

Before we take any action we want to fully understand people's views and gather evidence on the effect the proposed ban will have. This includes its effect on elephant conservation, the natural environment and businesses, as well as its economic and cultural effect. The ban will be subject to some strictly defined exemptions. We want evidence about the scope of the proposed exemptions and how they could operate. We also want evidence on how the ban should be enforced and the sanctions that should be applied.

The easiest way to respond is via the online survey in the link below, but you can also send responses to our email or postal addresses found on the right hand side of this page.

Please note that if you would like to upload documents to support your response then you can do so at the end of the online questionnaire, however you can only upload one document. If you would like to upload more than one document then you could collate your documents into one file before uploading it, or alternatively you can send the additional documents to our email address with a covering email stating that it is an additional response.

What happens next

The Government aims to publish a summary of responses within 12 weeks of the consultation closing.


  • Charities/Voluntary Organisations
  • Environmental campaigners
  • Animal welfare campaigners
  • Government Departments
  • Government Agencies
  • Business/Private Sector


  • Natural environment
  • Conservation
  • Wildlife crime
  • Wildlife management
  • Protecting wildlife