Thank you for contacting me about the plight of the elephant and the ivory trade.
Like you, I am concerned about the effect of illegal poaching and ivory trafficking on the long-term prospects for the survival of the elephant.
You will be aware that the UK does not permit trade in raw ivory tusks of any age, and has been pressing for this approach to be taken internationally. Recently, the Government has also announced further plans to ban sales of ‘modern-day ivory’, which will put the UK’s rules on ivory sales among the toughest in the world.
Further information which I have received on this issue is below;
‘The Government takes this issue very seriously, and this was demonstrated when it hosted and led the London Conference on Wildlife Trafficking. Over 40 countries adopted the London Declaration in an effort to save iconic species, including elephants, from being poached to the brink of extinction. The Buckingham Palace Declaration followed up on this work with a range of commitments to help the private sector tackle this illegal trade, and the UK has also made available £9.8 million for various projects through the Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund.
‘In addition to the issues in Africa, Ministers also recognise the growing threats to the Asian elephant from the illegal trade in live animals, fed by demand from the tourist and entertainment industries. The UK has been working through the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) to increase protections, and in 2014 secured agreement for elephant range states to put in place measures to prevent this illegal trade.’
I hope this reassures you that the UK remains committed to protecting elephants worldwide.