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A highly
anticipated UK ivory ban
was confirmed Tuesday by Britain’s Environment
Secretary.

Ban

Described
as
‘one of the world’s toughest’, the ban was introduced to protect elephants,
and reduce illegal trade.

The ban
will cover almost all items, with very few exemptions, and violators will face
up to five years in prison.

Items
exempt from the ban include antiques containing less 10 percent ivory, certain
old instruments, and few other ultra-rare antiques and artifacts.

Public
support

Of more
than 70,000 UK respondents, 88 percent were reportedly in favor of banning the
ivory trade which, according to the WWF, leads to the death of roughly 55 African
elephants each day.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove said: “The ban will demonstrate our belief that the abhorrent ivory trade should
become a thing of the past.”

‘Global
leader’

WWF Chief
Executive Tanya Steele said
: “This ban makes the UK a global leader in tackling
this bloody trade, and it’s something WWF has been fighting hard for.”

Activists
hope the strict ban will inspire other countries to follow suit – with John Stephenson,
CEO of Stop Ivory, explaining that ‘when the buying stops, the killing will
stop’.

Steele
said: “We hope the UK will continue to press countries where the biggest
ivory markets are, most of which are in Asia, to shut down their trade
too.”

Emily Court

Emily Court is a writer and content creator published in Plant Based News, Raise Vegan, Living Vegan and The Financial Diet. A self-described "recovering vegan hothead," she is now a pragmatic member of Vancouver's vibrant and growing plant-powered community. Hailing from Halifax, Nova Scotia, she holds a BA in Spanish and certificate in Intercultural Communication from Dalhousie University, where her thesis focused on topics of cultural and gender-based discrimination. She aims to apply a privilege-conscious...