The Environment Secretary Michael Gove has announced a consultation with the intent of banning the majority of ivory trade in the UK. Previous attempts at bans on the trade of ivory have not included items dated prior to 1947, whereas this has been seen as an attempt to completely devalue ivory in this country.
It has been said by the government that there will be some exemptions, for musical instruments and items of cultural and historical significance.
Conservation groups have shown enthusiasm towards the announcement given that around 20,000 elephants are killed by poachers every year and nubers in elephant population has sharply declined.
Many antique dealers and auctioneers were dismayed by the announcement. Noelle McElhatton from the Antiques Trade Gazette said those involved in the trade abhor poaching, but that banning the sale of legitimately pre-1947 ivory, such as Victorian pianos, "will not save a single living elephant".
She also said "We feel strongly that an outright ban would be an over-reaction and would be very detrimental to the honest and legitimate trade of pre-1947 ivory."
The UK has become the world's leading exporter of legal ivory carvings and antiques in recent years.
According to an Environmental Investigation Agency report, there were more than 36,000 items exported from the UK between 2010 and 2015, more than three times that of the next biggest exporter, the US.
This early Italian ivory carving would potentially be banned under new legislation.
Michael Gove has said that there should be four categories of ivory items allowed for sale:
Items with only a small proportion of ivory
Items of significant historic, artistic or cultural value
Sales between museums
The consultation period will run until 29th December 2017. To find out more and to have your say visit: