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The open letter in this week’s Antiques Trade Gazette.

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The letter in this week’s ATG, paid for by the British Antique Dealers’ Association, asks readers to sign up “before it is too late” ahead of the committee stage of the House of Lords’ debate on the bill on September 10.

The petition calls for the bill’s current 10% de minimus exemption to be raised to 50% for cultural objects made of ivory.

The dealers, both members of BADA's council, need 10,000 signatures for the government to respond and more than 100,000 to be considered for debate in parliament.

As this story was published online, the petition had nearly 1,300 signatures.

The bill, which allows the trade of musical instruments with less than 20% of ivory, antiques with less than 10% of ivory, portrait miniatures of a certain size, museum-quality objects with ivory and sales between museums, is currently going through parliament ahead of its enactment into law later this year.

Call to collectors

Addressing MPs as well as collectors and the trade, Gibson and Bordignon stress that antique ivory objects “have no link to today’s poaching crisis” and urge dealers and auctioneers to encourage their collector clients to sign the petition.

“Our last chance is that the House of Lords will see reason and grant us further exemptions,” the letter says.

The petition can be accessed here.

Advice for filling in petition

A recent email to LAPADA members included this tip about filling in the petition: "Once you have filled in the form online, you will be informed that your ‘online de minimus petition vote’ is not validated until you click a link that is generated and sent to you, via email. Only when this link is clicked, will your vote be counted."