The UK is set to introduce one of the world’s toughest ban on ivory sales, which the government says is meant to “protect elephants for future generations.”
“Ivory should never be seen as a commodity for financial gain or a status symbol, so we will introduce one of the world’s toughest bans on ivory sales,” British Environment Secretary Michael Gove said in a press release.
Elephant poaching has hit alarming rates in recent years, even with efforts to end the activity.
According to National geographic, 30,000 African elephants are slaughtered by poachers each year, with African savannah elephant numbers plummeting 30 per cent between 2007 and 2014.
While much of the demand for ivory is said to be centered in Asia, Europe also has a significantly huge market.
The UK’s ivory ban, which still needs to be signed into law, applies to all ivory except items produced before 1947 with less than 10 per cent ivory by volume, musical instruments made before 1975 with less than 20 per cent ivory, rare antiques more than 100 years old (which must be assessed by a specialist first), and certain items traded between accredited museums.
This development comes three weeks after the last northern white rhino – named Sudan – was euthanized after developing a leg infection that got worse by the day due to old age.