The Conservative government has made another massive U-turn that reeks of Labour’s plans.
In August, the UK found itself in the odious position of becoming the world’s largest exporter of ivory. And the Conservative Party manifesto for 2017’s general election didn’t mention the ivory trade at all; an industry that is rapidly wiping elephants off the face of the earth.
But now Environment Secretary Michael Gove has announced that the UK will impose a ban on ivory sales. It’s a ban, however, that the Labour Party promised months ago. And the government’s version comes with some details that should be of concern.
Stamp it out
Currently, the UK has a partial ban on ivory. Any ivory younger than 70 years old is illegal. But investigations have shown that the legal ivory trade provides a cover for illegal ivory to reach the market. Because people can manipulate newer ivory to make it look older.
That’s why many see a total ban on ivory as the only solution. But Gove doesn’t use the word “total” in his announcement. Because there will be “exemptions” to it. Exemptions proposed include musical instruments, museum sales and items that only include small amounts of ivory.
Furthermore, the government’s 12-week consultation on the ban will invite input from the antiques sector, among others. Much of the UK’s trade in ivory happens via the antiques industry. And Action for Elephants UK says this industry is the “chief obstacle” to a total ban.
Nonetheless, Gove’s announcement is a step in the right direction. A 2016 study counted only 352,271 African savannah elephants left across 15 countries. Poachers kill one of these majestic creatures every 15 minutes. Time is of the absolute essence.
So we owe it to the remaining elephants and our own reputation to move on this ban as quickly as possible.
– Help save elephants with Action For Elephants UK.
– Add your voice to the consultation.
We’re a thorn in the side of the establishment, but we can’t do it without your help
Your fight is our fight. But as many of you will know, speaking truth to power has never been easy, especially for a small, independent media outlet such as the Canary. We have weathered many attempts to silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media. Now more than ever, we need your support.
We don’t have fancy offices, and our entire staff works remotely. Almost all of our income is spent on paying the people who make the Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our team and enables us to continue to do what we do: disrupt power, and amplify people.
But we can’t do this without you. So please, if you appreciate our work, can you help us continue the fight?