UK’s ‘landmark’ ivory ban faces criticism from campaigners for its loopholes

A new landmark ban making it illegal to trade ivory from elephants in the UK in a bid to put an end to poaching is now in force.

The UK Ivory Act came into effect on 6th of June meaning offenders who are caught selling ivory will now face sanctions.

Fines of up to £250,000 can be issued as a result of trading ivory. Some offenders may even face a prison sentence of 5 years.

The UK’s ivory ban covers a near total ban on imports, exports, and dealing of any items containing ivory derived from elephants.

However, campaigners have criticised the act’s loopholes which allow items that are officially registered or have been certified exempt to continue to circulate.

Items that are exempt from the ivory ban include portrait miniatures, musical instruments, items with low ivory content, and rare and important items.

Moreover, sales to qualifying museums will also be exempt from the Ivory Act.

Using these loopholes, campaigners are stating that offenders will be able to use these methods and evade the new law.

However, this new act is the strictest yet and could spark the beginning of global change.

Lord Goldsmith, the Animal Welfare Minister, said in a statement: “The world-leading Ivory Act coming into force represents a landmark moment in securing the survival of elephants across the globe for future generations.

“Thousands of elephants are unnecessarily and cruelly targeted for their ivory every year for financial gain.

“As one of the toughest bans of its kind, we are sending a clear message that the commercial trade of elephant ivory is totally unacceptable. The UK has long led the way in conservation and our ban shows continued global leadership in doing all we can to protect the world’s most endangered species.”

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