The near-total ivory ban is currently going through parliament ahead of its enactment into law later this year.
The bill has a number of exemptions to the ban on the trade in ivory, including musical instruments with less than 20% of ivory, antiques with less than 10% of ivory (de minimis exemption), museum-quality objects with ivory, sales between museums and portrait miniatures.
Gibson argues the 10% rule is too narrow and has launched a petition “to widen the exemptions of the ivory bill” for de minimis rule to be raised to 50% for cultural objects made of ivory.
If his petition receives 10,000 signatures the government will respond to this petition. If it receives more than 100,000 signatures it will be considered for debate in parliament.
Gibson added: “We do actually support the government’s good intention to stop poaching in Africa and the illegal trade there. However, as discussed at length in the third reading, it was acknowledged by many MP’s that the ban would have little or no effect on what actually happens on the ground in Africa.”
Gibson is encouraging the art and antiques trade to sign his government petition online.