Pengelly joins MPs in backing campaign against ivory trade as China imposes ban
A Northern Ireland MP has joined other politicians to oppose the illegal wildlife trade.
A charity event was held in the Houses of Parliament to celebrate China's ivory ban, which comes into force this month.
It is believed around 55 African elephants are being killed for their tusks every day - more than are being born.
Speaking after the event hosted by the WWF and the Chinese Embassy, South Belfast DUP MP Emma Little Pengelly said she was delighted to show her support for ending the trade in ivory.
"A world without African elephants is unthinkable, and governments across the world need to do everything they can to ensure it never happens," she said.
In light of China's ruling, the UK Government is also proposing a ban on the trade.
Mrs Pengelly added: "I know my constituents in South Belfast care deeply about this issue, and tens of thousands of people responded to the UK Government's recent consultation on banning the ivory trade."
It is hoped the Chinese ban will reduce opportunities to buy and sell illegal ivory, therefore reducing demand.
Legislators in Hong Kong - which is thought to be home for the world's largest ivory market - have also voted to ban the ivory trade, hoping the practice can be phased out by 2021.