The consultation, which runs until August 22, seeks evidence on the trade in ivory from other, non-elephant, species to “help inform what, if any, action government should take to further restrict trade in ivory”.
MPs discussed the idea of extending the ivory trade ban to include other items during the debate of the ivory bill last year, amid concerns the ban on one form of ivory could increase pressure on another.
Plans for the consultation were announced when the ivory bill received Royal Assent to become the Ivory Act in December 2018.
The government said it is “keen to hear from specialists across all relevant sectors”.
Environment minister Thérèse Coffey said: “Our ivory ban is one of the toughest in the world. But there are many more precious species, like the hippo and walrus, which could fall victim to the trade in ivory. This call for evidence will help us to understand if we need to take any further action to protect these animals from the trade in their ivory. We want to hear from specialists in this field to inform any next steps.”
The species being looked at by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) are:
- common hippopotamus
- killer whale, also known as orca
- sperm whale
- common warthog
- desert warthog
The consultation can be found at https://atg.news/Ivorysurvey.
The Ivory Act is “expected to come into force in late 2019”.
Download the ATG Guide to the UK ivory ban.