Global ivory trade ban must be backed by UK
The UK Government's announcement that an ivory ban consultation was being launched is a hugely positive step for elephants.
With more than 20,000 elephants a year killed for their ivory and populations at risk of extinction, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and many other groups which have campaigned for an ivory trade ban have warmly welcomed the announcement.
However, the key now is for the Government to act quickly to ensure that this public consultation leads to a total UK ivory trade ban, with only minor exemptions.
It is essential that, after the 12-week consultation ends on December 29, the Government begins the process to ensure a ban is enshrined in legislation.
In October next year, the UK hosts the fourth international conference on the illegal wildlife trade. Having a ban in place by then would send a clear message that the UK is a leader in the fight to protect elephants.
IFAW head of policy & campaigns
Belfast Telegraph Digital