The arguments both for and against a total ban on the trade of ivory in the UK were heard at the House of Commons as the end of the government's consultation period looms.
LAPADA chairman Lord De Mauley
The argument against the ban was opened by Lord Carrington of Fulham. These views were supported in the House of Lords on December 21st by Lord Cormack and Lord De Mauley. Lord Cormack said: “The immediate knee-jerk reaction is not the right action. We have a duty not only to preserve the flora and fauna but to preserve the art of the past.”
Lord De Mauley said: "The Government have said that they does not want to continue to rely on the current 1947 cut-off date, after which worked ivory cannot be sold, but this could offer the key to resolving what might otherwise be a thorny problem. I urge the Minister to consider the fact that 1947 is now 70 years ago, and that it is technically feasible to age—and then certificate—ivory."
Several peers have argued in favour of the ban including Labour peer Baroness Jones of Whitchurch who said: "We support a clear ban and to end the distinction between ivory carved before and after 1947...".
The government consultation period will end on December 29th.