Protecting species from the brink of extinction is of utmost importance in the face of global challenges such as illegal poaching for sport and trade. Today, an exciting development emerges as the UK government announces five new species poised to receive enhanced safeguards under the Ivory Act extension.
The list includes the formidable Hippopotamus, the majestic Walrus, the enigmatic Narwhal, the iconic Killer Whale, and the awe-inspiring Sperm Whale. These five endangered species are recognized by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and Fauna and Flora, an international conservation charity dedicated to protecting endangered wildlife and habitats. These endangered animals are set to benefit from strengthened legal measures as part of the world-leading Ivory Act 2018.
The Ivory Act extension fulfills a key commitment outlined in the animal welfare manifesto and demonstrates the United Kingdom’s broader dedication to international conservation efforts. The UK government solidifies its position at the forefront of global conservation by imposing a stringent ban on the import, export, and trade of ivory-containing items.
“The Ivory Act is one of the toughest bans of its kind in the world and by extending greater legal protections to five more species, we are sending a clear message the commercial trade of ivory is totally unacceptable.” Said Biodiversity Minister Trudy Harrison
Among the species affected, the Hippopotamus faces the greatest peril from the ivory trade, second only to elephants. Additionally, climate change poses a significant threat to the other listed species, and the ongoing trade in their ivory further exacerbates these risks, jeopardizing their long-term survival.
In a resolute move, the UK intends to expand the scope of the Ivory Act 2018 to encompass a complete prohibition on ivory dealings related to these species, including imports and exports. The Ivory Act is one of the most stringent bans on elephant ivory sales globally, characterized by robust enforcement measures. Violators of this ban will face severe penalties, including hefty fines or imprisonment for up to five years. This significant announcement follows an extensive public consultation and aligns with the approaching first anniversary of the successful implementation of the ivory ban.
Since June 6, 2022, over 6,500 registrations and certificates have been issued for exempted items, ensuring their preservation as integral components of our artistic and cultural heritage.
The UK government has earned its reputation as a world leader in international conservation efforts. Notably, the country was pivotal in supporting the landmark agreement of the ambitious Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework in December. This agreement, endorsed by 195 nations, commits countries worldwide to safeguard 30% of our land and oceans by 2030 and halt human-induced extinctions of known threatened species.
It is imperative that we continue to prioritize the protection and preservation of our precious wildlife. The enhanced legal protections offered by the Ivory Act extension for these five vulnerable species show the government’s commitment to the United Kingdom and the global community to ensure a sustainable and thriving planet for future generations.